Former Central Suffolk and North Ipswich PPC backs Owen Smith for Labour leadership

Jack Abbott

Jack Abbott

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The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Labour PPC at the 2015 General Election is backing Owen Smith for the party’s leadership.

Jack Abbott, of Debenham, finished second at the last election behind Conservative Dr Dan Poulter. A member of Labour for six years, he said he would remain with the party “whatever the result” but said he did not feel current leader Jeremy Corbyn could win a general election.

If I am honest I don’t feel that Jeremy Corbyn, although he is a principled and a good man, is the person to win seats we need to win, in places like Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and the Waveney to form a Labour government

Jack Abbott

He had backed Liz Kendall for the party leadership last year.

“The long and short of it is that I do not want to feel like I did last year after the general election,” he said. “I feel there is no point being a political party if you don’t win and you are not electable, and cannot put your values and ideals into practice.

“If I am honest I don’t feel that Jeremy Corbyn, although he is a principled and a good man, is the person to win seats we need to win, in places like Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and the Waveney to form a Labour government.

“Owen Smith has done a massive speech with a number of policy proposals. In that nine minutes we have had more policy ideas than in nine months under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”

In August 2015, Mr Abbott told the Diss local Labour membership had swelled, while more than 180,000 people have signed up as supporters this month to cast their vote.

“We don’t know who that support has come in for,” he continued. “What I hope is that people don’t just vote for someone on their personality and remember that no one person or individual is bigger than then party.”

While Mr Abbott said Mr Corbyn’s rise to the leadership had “clearly enthused” people to join the party, he said Labour should “represent everybody” and appeal to the country, not just its members and supporters.