LABOUR leadership contender Yvette Cooper has warned her party against swinging too far to the left or right as she stressed there was a mountain to climb to become electable again.
The shadow home secretary said that the party had to “face some hard truths” and acknowledge that it could not repeat the mistakes made under Ed Miliband, but insisted it was wrong to believe that “there needs to be blood on the floor” for Labour to rise again.
Cooper said the party could not afford to “flail about” or “give in to the Tories” but must urgently produce plans to change in order to win elections next year in London, Wales and Scotland.
In an apparent swipe at her main rivals in the leadership race, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham – seen as the unions’ likely choice – and the Blairite Liz Kendall, Cooper said “there is no comfort blanket for us either in Labour victories or Labour defeats of the past” because “the world has changed”.
She added: “Acerbic critiques and the rapid washing of hands won’t make Labour win again. Nor will doing what we’ve done before but shouting that little bit louder.
“We can’t repeat the narrow approach of the last five years.”
In a blog on the Huffington Post website, she said: “The mountain we now have to climb is high. But there are some who mutter that we should give up. That there needs to be blood on the floor for the Labour Party to rise again. That we should swing our party far to the right or far to the left, then fight it out from first principles all over again.
“They believe we simply can’t return to office in under a decade.
“They advocate, not a 2020 strategy, but a vague plan to win in 2025.
“But that’s no good for Labour, for Britain or for those who depend on progressive change. We can’t fight and win by remaining a narrow party, we have to reach out.
“We don’t need a 2025 strategy – and even a 2020 strategy isn’t good enough.
“We need a 2016 strategy, a plan to win next year – starting with the Mayor of London, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament,” Cooper added.