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Kent Labour candidates speak out at loss of General Election

Labour party candidates and councillors have spoken out about their loss in the General Election across the county.

A range of ideas have emerged today which include a general feeling of dismay and disappointment in the party - to needing a new leader and blaming Brexit.

Antonio Weiss, Labour parliamentary candidate for Tunbridge Wells
Antonio Weiss, Labour parliamentary candidate for Tunbridge Wells

Antonio Weiss, Labour parliamentary candidate for Tunbridge Wells, said: "In terms of the vote share, I think the issue of this election nationally and locally was Brexit and if I'm quite honest maybe we struggled to get heard on that.

"It's clear that the country has made it's decision on a way forward and the Labour party will always stand up for those who we don't feel have been represented. We have grave concerns over a Conservative government but we will always fight for the oppressed."

Sacha Gosine, Labour parliamentary candidate for Dartford, echoed Mr Weiss in a tweet early this morning:

Other Labour supporters suggested the need for a new leader.

Cllr Tristan Osborne, for Luton and Wayfield said: "We have to start listening to the British people. We've gone in the wrong direction for the last four years and I think it's now time that - if this result is born out - we must change direction immediately, start re-engaging with the electorate we've lost and learn from this"

Tristan Osborne, a Luton and Wayfield Labour councillor
Tristan Osborne, a Luton and Wayfield Labour councillor

When asked if a new leader was needed, Cllr Osborne said: "Last time the leader resigned the day after (an election) and that may have been too early.

"So it may be that we have a period of time to reflect on this result. But I think if we lose elections as badly as we have, then the leader would need to step down."

Cllr Teresa Murray, for Rochester and Strood, expressed similar concerns.

She said: "I'm a bit blue, but this is not going to stop me from carrying out my work as a councillor and helping people. I feel sad for the people who would have benefitted from a Labour government as things likely will get harder for them.

"I think that Jeremy Corbyn should go quite quickly, he doesn't need to be standing while we decide who the next leader is."

Teresa Murray, Labour parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood
Teresa Murray, Labour parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood

She added: "No one has come forward and said they want the job yet. I would like it to be Keir Starmer (MP for Holborn and St Pancras), he's a very gracious man, has a great campaign and has experience as a shadow secretary.

"I've always thought Hilary Benn (MP for Hammersmith) would be a great leader and I have asked him about it personally but he doesn't want the job.

"I think as a party we need to learn from this election, our message was too complex and people lost interest."

Some candidates just expressed their hope for the future of the party, promising to continue to fight for the people in their constituencies.

Charlotte Cornell, candidate for Dover and Deal was one who tweeted late this morning.

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