Shadow minister says Labour is “government-in-waiting” during visit to Barnet College

Peter Kyle hailed the party’s rejection of antisemitism under Keir Starmer as he talked to local students alongside Chipping Barnet candidate Dan Tomlinson reports David Floyd

National and local politicians visiting a local college in Barnet
Peter Kyle (right) and Dan Tomlinson (centre) visit Barnet College – (Credit – Labour Party)

A Labour shadow minister proclaimed his party to be a “government-in-waiting” as he visited Barnet College yesterday on the fourth anniversary of Labour’s general election defeat in 2019.

The party, then led by Jeremy Corbyn, crashed to a historic defeat, failing to win any of the borough’s three parliamentary constituencies: Chipping Barnet, Finchley & Golders Green and Hendon. 

Visiting the college in Wood Street with Chipping Barnet candidate, Dan Tomlinson, who is hoping to defeat sitting Conservative MP Theresa Villiers at the next election, Labour’s shadow science, innovation and technology secretary, Peter Kyle highlighted the party’s work to rebuild links with Jewish communities.  

He said: “On the anniversary of Labour’s worst election defeat since the 1930s, it’s a privilege to be here in Barnet this morning and to reflect on how far we’ve come in four short years. From a party of protest, mired in antisemitism within our own ranks, to a government-in-waiting under Keir Starmer – who ripped out antisemitism by its roots and now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our Jewish communities.”

He added: “It is especially fitting to be here during Hanukkah and say again to our Jewish communities, who have faced soaring hate crime and antisemitism over the last few weeks, that we stand with you as allies. I was proud to attend the national march against antisemitism a few weeks ago and our commitment to fighting antisemitism is unwavering.

“Young people at Barnet College today have told me about their hopes and aspirations for the future and they believe, as I do, that things can change for the better.”

Dan Tomlinson, Labour’s candidate for Chipping Barnet, said: “Labour has changed and we are never going back. Never again will our party face the shame of hate and antisemitism from within our own ranks.

“We are rebuilding trust in Barnet, as demonstrated by Labour’s historic victory at the local elections here last year, but this work never stops.”

He added: “As Labour’s candidate for Chipping Barnet I will continue, as I always have, speaking up for and engaging with the Jewish community here.

“I heard today, directly from young people, who are keen to cast their vote at the next General Election, and they want to see change. The general election can’t come soon enough.”

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