Labour warned against making 'assumptions' by McAnea

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The Labour leader has faced humiliating defeat for the party in recent months after losing the Hartlepool by-election to the Conservative Party. The General Secretary of Unison, the UK’s largest trade union, Christina McAnea has warned Keir Starmer against “making assumptions” about voters. She insisted that political parties need to consider how people are affected by their policies.

Speaking to BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, Ms McAnea said: “We’re so driven now by social media and by advertising.

“People seem to get information from different parts of society these days.

“I think the Labour Party has to perhaps and other political parties have to think about the impact of their policies and the impact of what they’re doing on individuals’ lives.

“And not just make assumptions that because this economically makes sense that it won’t have an impact on individuals.

“I think that’s it’s always gone down to remember what it means to those individual people who lose benefits or who don’t get access to certain services.”

It comes as Labour is readying itself for another by-election in Batley and Spen on July 1.

Kim Leadbeater has been selected as the Labour candidate for the by-election in the West Yorkshire constituency previously represented by her sister.

The by-election was triggered after Tracy Brabin had to quit Westminster following her election as the first mayor of West Yorkshire.

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The writ for the by-election was moved in the Commons by Labour on Thursday, with the party saying polling day will take place on July 1.

Labour is defending a majority of 3,525 over the Tories from the 2019 general election and Sir Keir’s party will be desperate to avoid losing another northern seat.

The party lost Hartlepool in a by-election on May 6 as another brick in the “red wall” of northern seats crumbled, with Ryan Stephenson hoping for a repeat performance as the Tory candidate in Batley and Spen.

Campaigning in Batley and Spen could be complicated by coronavirus, with Kirklees one of the areas where people have been encouraged to “minimise travel” due to the spread of the Indian variant.

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Former MP and veteran campaigner George Galloway has announced he is running in the forthcoming Batley and Spen by-election with the explicit aim of ousting Sir Keir Starmer as leader of the Labour Party.

Mr Galloway, who was expelled from Labour in 2003, said he is standing as a candidate for his Workers Party of Britain in the poll on July 1.

In a video posted on his social media feeds, filmed at Batley bus station, he said: “I’m standing against Keir Starmer.

“If Keir Starmer loses this by-election, it’s curtains for Keir Starmer.

“So, if for whatever reason you think that the current leader of the Labour Party needs to be replaced, I’m your man.”

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