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Ousted Labour MP Lesley Laird says there is no need for knee-jerk reactions to election defeat

Outgoing candidate Lesley Laird speaks to thank her team after the results are announced
Outgoing candidate Lesley Laird speaks to thank her team after the results are announced

Ousted MP Lesley Laird yesterday urged Labour against “knee-jerk reactions” despite the party suffering its worst UK defeat in more than 80 years.

Scottish Labour’s governing body met in Glasgow yesterday to discuss the party’s future after its disastrous General Election result.

Laird was one of six Labour MPs who lost their seats in Scotland after she was beaten in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath by Neale Hanvey, who had been suspended by the SNP for alleged anti-Semitism.

Yesterday, she called on colleagues to take time to pause and reflect.

She said: “There was a lot of positives to come out of our campaign and we need to not lose sight of the fact all of these results don’t change some of the real issues we, as a society, need to come to terms with.”

Asked if Jeremy Corbyn should go immediately, she said: “I think making decisions on knee-jerk reactions is not the right thing to do.”

During the election campaign, the party leader said a Labour government would negotiate a new withdrawal deal and put it to the people in a second referendum, but he would be “neutral” in campaigning.

Labour MSP Daniel Johnson blamed the “fudged” position and Corbyn’s lack of leadership for the defeat.

He said: “I knocked on hundreds if not thousands of doors. While we won in Edinburgh South, voter after voter told us, ‘I’ll vote for you, but not Jeremy Corbyn’.

“It’s easy to see why – if a political leader can’t be trusted to take a position on the most fundamental issue facing the country, how can you trust them on anything?”