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How can Labour explain what it stands for as the next general election approaches?

Rishi Sunak has been warned. Many MPs are plotting against him. The Brexiters are. Liz Truss and Boris Johnson’s allies certainly are too. A general election in 2023 is not impossible. But, although polls currently give the party around 45% of the vote and the Tories just 19%, voters still don’t seem to understand what Labour stands for.

“Keir Starmer has been accused of lacking charisma and communication skills since he became leader. But being boring is not the problem,” Professor Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield, tells us this morning. “John Smith was not the most exciting person in the world but he possessed a clarity of purpose and a sense of direction that allowed him to transform the Labour party under his leadership.”

“Labour’s answer to the question “What do you stand for?” does not have to be complex,” Professor Matthew Flinders says. “It should not be a spin-doctored strapline but an answer that signals simplicity and a depth of understanding – a commitment not just to winning elections but to forging relationships and changing lives.”

If only it could be that simple.

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