Voice of the Mirror: Labour inquest is grim read but Starmer gives reasons for optimism

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The official inquest into Labour’s general election defeat last year makes grim reading for the party.

A combination of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, toxic infighting and an unpopular stance on Brexit all contributed to Labour’s worst showing for more than 80 years.

The review also notes victory at the next election is far from guaranteed, saying hoping Brexit will go away and having a new leader will not automatically reverse fortunes.

To win a majority next time needs a swing greater than Tony Blair managed in 1997.

It requires winning back seats from the SNP in Scotland and those lost to the Tories in the Midlands and north of England. While Labour stacked up votes in big cities, it has lost voters in towns and coastal resorts. No wonder the report concludes there is a mountain to climb.

But there are also reasons for optimism.

Keir Starmer has made an excellent start as leader. He has taken the fight to Boris Johnson, appointed a talented Shadow Cabinet and started to heal some of the party’s divisions.

Labour needs to build on this early success by developing an attractive policy agenda.

Football legend Ian Wright has taken the bold step of sharing the racist abuse he receives on social media.

A lot of it came after he spoke in support of Black Lives Matter and is sickening reading.

Nobody would tolerate this vile language if they heard it in a shop or a pub. Yet social media giants still refuse to act when racist messages are posted on their platforms.

It is time these tech firms took responsibility for what they publish. And if they refuse to act the law should be changed to force them to clean up these sewers of hatred and malice.

The Queen has praised businesses for rising to the challenge of the pandemic.

Our high streets need all the support they can get. So it is good to know when you hit the shops this weekend, it is with royal approval.

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