Peter Mandelson advises Jeremy Corbyn but stresses he is 'not a Corbynista'

Written by David Singleton on 20 October 2017 in Diary

The New Labour architect explained how Corbyn could get a 'substantial working majority' in the next election.

The architect of New Labour might not be the first person that Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle will take advice from.

But Lord Mandelson gave it a go anyway as he appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme.

He declared that Labour was now in a strong position and claimed that Tory MPs were privately telling him of their despair.

“I think obviously the prospects for the Labour party are now very strong… I think Mr Corbyn has a choice. I’ve talked to two Conservative MPs in the last week in parliament who are now talking about the threat of annihilation of the Conservative party at the next election.”

But the New Labour architect added that Corbyn would only win a significantly larger majority at the next general election if he appealed beyond his base.

“I think the actual result depends on what Jeremy Corbyn does now and I think he has a choice. In the party he can go for total ideological control of Labour, or he can opt instead for unity right across Labour’s broad spectrum.

“And in the country he can either consolidate his sort-of sectarian support on the left and amongst young voters, or he can additionally embrace more centrist and older voters.

“This is what will make the difference between a slender victory for the Labour party at the next election or a substantial working majority. And obviously I hope he aims for the latter.”

Lord Mandelson’s latest comments are a radical departure from earlier this year, when he called the Labour leader a “maniac” and revealed that he worked “every single day” to bring him down.

But Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell will have been relieved to hear that their New Labour pal has not switched sides just yet.

Asked whether he was now a Corbynista, Mandelson gave short shrift to the idea.

“I am not a Corbynista, I am New Labour to my core because I believe in both social justice and economic efficiency.”




Picture by: Jonathan Brady/PA Archive/PA Images.

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