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Gloria de Piero, who represented Ashfield, Notts, from 2010 until standing down before last year’s election, spoke out after a new book highlighted the fact that more than three quarters of Labour Party members were middle class and almost half lived in London. Ms de Piero’s former constituency, once considered a safe Labour safer seat, fell to the Tory Lee Anderson – himself a defector from Labour – at the 2019 election.
This is a huge problem for Labour
Gloria de Piero
She tweeted: “This is a huge problem for Labour. ‘A 2017 survey found that 77 per cent of Labour Party members fell within the ABC1 social classes. Nearly half of all its members lived in London or southern England, and 57 percent were graduates’.”
In 2012, Ms de Piero held a national tour called ‘Why Do People Hate Me?’ designed to discover why voters had become so disenchanted with politicians.
She visited bingo halls, exercise classes, warehouses and golf clubs to hear about people’s disillusionment “in their own words”.
Her 8,820 majority at the 2015 general election fell to just 441 in 2017 and Mr Anderson, who had served as Ms de Piero’s office manager, then took the seat for the Conservatives with a 5,733 majority last December.
Her warning to Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party comes after a new book lifted the lid left-wing contempt for the working classes.
Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class by Paul Embery claims Labour has lost touch with its roots.
In the book, which is out on Friday, Mr Embery writes: “The party neither looks nor sounds very much like those it was created to represent.
“Many of its representatives and spokespeople – indeed, much of its membership – live wholly different lives, and have contrasting interests and priorities, to millions of working-class people living in the more disadvantaged parts of our nation.”
Mr Embery, a former full-time official with the Fire Brigades Union, told MailOnline: “Today, Labour has become a middle-class party with a militantly cosmopolitan world view.
“Disavowing its roots, it is a movement almost exclusively for the managerial and professional classes, graduates, social activists and urban liberals.
“And many inside the party have started to look upon old-fashioned values with contempt.”
He continued: “There is no place on the modern Left for the small ‘c’ conservatism of the traditional working class, with its love of community and nation and its desire for social solidarity and belonging.
“Instead, this shiny, progressive, bourgeois Labour elevates things such as personal autonomy, open borders and identity politics over all that ‘faith, family and flag’ nonsense.
“There had always been a compromise between the worlds of Hartlepool and Hampstead, but today it is almost all Hampstead and no Hartlepool.
“For some time, Labour has been travelling the road to the imagined sunlit uplands of cosmopolitan liberalism and global market forces.
“Now it’s in a quagmire, flirting with irrelevance.”
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Labour is now looking to win back support by capitalising on public dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis and capture voters’ trust on the economy.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said: “Ten years of Conservative failures has seen billions wasted on pet projects and white elephants instead of action to make a difference to people’s lives.”
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