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Labour will ‘gerrymander’ system to get permanent majority, says James Cleverly

01 Jul 2024 5 minute read
Home Secretary James Cleverly speaking to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House in London.Photo Lucy North/PA Wire

Home Secretary James Cleverly has claimed Labour will “gerrymander” and “distort” the British political system in order to ensure a permanent majority.

With just four days to go until polling day on July 4, each party has ramped up its General Election campaigning with increasingly bitter attacks as the Conservatives warn of Sir Keir Starmer’s party heading for a “supermajority”.

With Labour continuing to dominate opinion polls, Mr Cleverly suggested that the party would use a large majority to make more people eligible to vote including “foreign nationals” and “criminals”.

Meanwhile, Labour are fighting voter complacency as they warn the public could “wake up to five more years of the Tories”.

On the campaign trail on Monday, Sir Keir Starmer asked voters to judge him in five years’ time against improved public services, economy and living standards.

‘Telling off’

Mr Cleverly said this election is not about giving the Conservatives “a bit of a telling off”.

He told the BBC: “The reason that this is so important, is because Labour have already said they are going to gerrymander the system, they have said they’re going to pack out the House of Lords, they’ve said they’re going to get votes at 16, they’re going to get votes for foreign nationals, they’re probably going to get votes for criminals.

“They are determined to have a permanent Labour government and they are quite willing to distort the British political system to get that – that is what is at stake.

“This is not an election which is about giving the Conservatives a bit of a telling off, and many people might think that is legitimate.”

He added: “They have said they’re going to distort the political system and I think there’s a real risk, there is a genuine risk that they take a majority if that is what they get to try and lock in their power permanently, because they don’t really feel confident that they’re going to be able to make a credible case to the British people at the next general election.”

The Conservatives have sought to prevent bleeding votes to Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats by warning that a vote for any other party would contribute to Labour’s “supermajority”.

Reform UK

Mr Cleverly rejected the claims by Reform UK leader Nigel Farage that he will be the “voice of opposition” and said there is “no credible analysis” to say that the party will overtake the Conservatives.

He told Sky News: “There is no credible analysis at all that indicates that that is possible. The best case scenario is predicted that Reform might get a small handful of MPs but in doing so, give Labour a huge majority, which they would use to bring in votes at 16, votes for prisoners, votes for foreign nationals.

“They’re determined to gerrymander the system to get a permanent Labour government and I don’t think that’s what Conservative voters or potential Reform voters want.”

Meanwhile, Labour urged voters to move to avoid “waking up on July 5 to five more years of economic chaos” as it accused the Tories of having presided over a “one rule for them and another for everyone else” approach to government.

At the beginning of the final week on the campaign trail, shadow environment secretary Steve Reed handed out pillows to journalists, printed with a mocked-up photo of Rishi Sunak in bed and the words “Don’t wake up to five more years of the Tories”.

After a stump speech at Hitchin Town Football Club, the Labour leader was asked whether he was concerned he could be the least popular Labour leader ever to enter No 10.

Sir Keir said he had turned around the Labour Party from electoral disaster to “seriously putting it before the electorate as a credible force for change”.

“So my track record as a leader is clear. Yes, what we’re asking now is for the opportunity to do the same for our country. And yes, we face the same challenge, which is a version of: ‘Look, the country is broken, almost nothing is working better than it was when the Tories started. Is it possible to bring around the change that we offer?’

“Yes, it is. We have that determination, that intention. And in five years’ time, we will be able to look back and say: ‘You are truly better off, your public services are working properly and the economy is working for everyone.’

“I’ll be very, very happy to be judged on that record.”

National security

On Monday, the Prime Minister sounded the alarm over national security, claiming that Russian president Vladimir Putin “does not want us to be re-elected”.

“Putin would like nothing more than for Britain to step back, to appease his aggression rather than face it down and that is what will happen with another party in power,” he told the Telegraph.

Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth denied that Putin would prefer to see Labour win over the Conservatives.

When asked about comments made by Rishi Sunak on Sunday, Mr Ashworth told Times Radio: “No of course not. This is pretty desperate stuff from the Tories now, really desperate… Labour would always put the defence of our people first.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
13 days ago

Shameful and a shame, the bathroom mirror awaits the morning of the 5th, like the pearly gates for humanists…ditch the beard Bluto and the lying…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
13 days ago

It’s understandable I suppose. Irrational, panic stricken screaming as the ship disappears beneath the waves of the electorates’ disdain.

Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
13 days ago

I have to agree, why should a 16 year old child be allowed to vote when they are not allowed smoke,drink,gamble at that age because they are too immature?

Lower the age to 16 yes, but other restrictions must be also lifted.

Gareth
Gareth
13 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

If you are old enough to serve in the army, you are old enough to vote. The age you are allowed to apply to join up is 15 yrs 7 months, and start service at 16.

CapM
CapM
13 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

Given the five year max general election cycle the average age of a first time voter is currently over 20 years.
Lowering the voting age to 16 means that age is reduced but is still over 18.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
13 days ago
Reply to  Welsh Patriot

Smoking, gambling and drinking alcohol are additive at any age.
Particularly dangerous to the health of young adults.

Cablestreet
Cablestreet
13 days ago

Gerrymandering? Voter ID, how’s that for starters.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
13 days ago

Gerrymandering?

Is having an electoral voting system of ‘First Past the Post’ gerrymandering ?
FPTP is used by Lukashenko in Belarus to gerrymander his way to hold onto power.

Mr Cleverly, You had your chance to change the system during 2010 to 2015, when Nick Clegg (Lib Dem) offered your party real Proportional Representation – Single Transferable Vote.
Your Cons Party turned it down.

Your party WILL pay the price at this election for that bad decision.

Riki
Riki
13 days ago

Isn’t that literally how the UK system is? It literally makes sure the only voices that matters are English ones.

Ap Kenneth
13 days ago

The Cons thought voter suppression and gerrymandering constituency boundaries would do the job for them. Hopefully it will not.

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