Blears: Labour could lose the North

Blear has made clear she intends to fight her Salford seat at the next election
Blear has made clear she intends to fight her Salford seat at the next election

By Liz Stephens

Former communities secretary, Hazel Blears, has said Labour is in danger of losing its foothold in the North at the next general election.

In remarks for a BBC Radio 4 documentary to be broadcast on Sunday, Blears said: "The danger is if we're not careful, we lose the aspirational voters on the one hand and the poor people in our communities who are tempted to go to the far Right."

Labour is caught between a resurgent Tory party claiming the middle ground on one hand and the BNP gaining marginal northern seats and winning over traditional working class Labour supporters on the other hand.


Ms Blears said Labour had had difficulty "being able to articulate that we stand for everyone in this country".

"We're not just governing for the bottom 10 per cent", she said, echoing remarks by her former cabinet colleague John Denham earlier in the week.

Asked if she thought Gordon Brown was aware of the problem, she said: "I know he is. I've talked to him about it."

Blear has made clear she intends to fight her Salford seat at the next election, despite widespread voter condemnation of her expenses claims.

Recent polling in key areas of the North-West by Ipsos-Mori shows that the Tories have a larger lead in some than in the country as a whole.

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