Communists welcome Tory local election defeat but with a warning for the left

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Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths welcomed the results of last week’s English local elections which, he said, ‘handed a red to the Tories and a yellow card to Keir Starmer’s Labour Party’.

‘Anybody who cares about local communities, public services, jobs and integrity in public life should look forward to the end of Tory rule at Westminster, too’, he added.

‘Yet the electors – especially the two-thirds who decided not to vote last Thursday – have also put Keir Starmer’s right wing Labour leadership on probation’. 

In a report prepared for the CP Political Committee, Mr Griffiths pointed out that the Liberal Democrats and the Greens gained almost as many extra seats (178) as Labour (186) on May 2.

‘Labour cannot afford to gamble everything on a Tory collapse at the next General Election in order to win an overall majority in the Westminster parliament’, he insists. 

‘Keir Starmer’s dismal Tory-lite policies and refusal to embrace bold public ownership and progressive taxation policies, together with his refusal to condemn Israeli genocide in Gaza, is alienating millions of electors’, the CP leader warned.

‘The ready acceptance of Tory defectors in recent weeks is disgusting but unsurprising. While the defeat of the Tories will be a welcome development, we can see clearly that the election of a Starmerite Labour government will not be a meaningful victory for working people in and of itself.’

Mr Griffiths congratulated the Communist Party candidates in seven cities last week, noting that the party’s list for the Greater London Assembly won almost 11,000 votes, up 24% on 2021.

‘We now intend to run the biggest Communist General Election campaign in 40 years, holding high the banner for socialism and preparing for the fundamental post-election battles to come against a “status quo” Labour government’.

‘Building a strong, vigorous and militant Communist Party and YCL which can advance and sharpen the class struggle in the coming period and new circumstances of a likely Labour government will be fundamental’ he concluded.