I write on behalf of the Orpington CLP.
At our well attended AGM on 24 June we carried the following resolution unanimously which was not surprising since we have been raising the issue ever since the Labour Party suffered the 2010 general election defeat:
Responsibility for the financial crash
“This AGM of the Orpington CLP calls upon the Labour Leadership candidates to recognise that unless and until a determined effort is made to rebut the outrageous and absurd lie that the Labour Government caused the financial crash of 2007-08, the Labour Party will stand no chance of winning the general election in 2020 and arguably beyond.
“This AGM calls upon all the candidates to act accordingly and to cease making the situation worse by apologising for Labour’s pre-2007 spending which was well justified by the circumstances prevailing, supported by the Conservative leadership at the time and which nevertheless kept deficits below pre-1997 levels when expressed as a percentage of GDP.”
As the economy once again proved to be the single greatest factor influencing the outcome of a general election we believe this is the most important question to be raised in the contests for both leader and deputy.
As the Tories have refined the blame game to allege specifically that it was Labour’s spending which caused the crash we believe it to be doubly disastrous to apologise in such a context. There is mounting evidence that LP members overwhelmingly believe the failure to nail the big lie was the most significant factor behind our 2015 defeat.
Like many other CLPs we will be considering which candidates (if any) we will nominate in the leader and deputy elections at our next all members meeting on 22 July.
Your answer to this question will be central to our decisions. It is an opportunity to show you really are going to listen to members.
I am writing in identical terms to all the candidates.
Nigel de Gruchy