Reacting to the news that Gordon Brown will become Labour leader unopposed, Respect MP George Galloway said:
“It is a devastating indictment of the Parliamentary Labour Party that it could not muster even two thirds of the number of MPs John McDonnell needed simply to be on the ballot paper for Labour leader.
“But Gordon Brown would be fooling himself if he thought that there was as little support in the country at large for the brand of real-Labour policies which John McDonnell put forward and which are a cornerstone of Respect. Labour MPs are living in a different world from most people.
“This farcical leadership selection, or rather steamrollering, has shown how there will be precious little space in Brown’s Labour Party to pursue progressive policies, just as there was under Blair. The demand for a change, however, will not go away. I sense it everywhere I go and it was a salient feature of the 3 May elections in which Respect did very well.
“Respect supported John McDonnell’s campaign and supports all efforts by the left of the Labour Party to challenge Blair-Brown dominance.
“But it must now be clear to everyone on the left that the main arenas for rebuilding progressive politics are very far from the Labour Party and its enervated local organisation.
“Over the coming weeks we will be seeking to discuss with key figures in the trade unions, on the left, in the Labour Party and across the progressive spectrum as a whole what initiatives might be taken to rally and unify our forces. Respect has aspirations to advance the whole left as well as our part of it.
“There’s an incipient progressive opposition to Brown even before he even takes office. This is a moment for the left as a whole to come together to drive out the stale, blood-soaked doctrines of Blairism, re-establish core progressive principles and win sorely needed representation for working people.”