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Get back to where you belong' warning

PUBLISHED: 17:54 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:43 12 August 2010

STOP MAKING MISTAKES’: John Horam.

STOP MAKING MISTAKES': John Horam.

POLITICIANS have warned Labour to get back to its roots ahead of the party conference this weekend. It was Tony Blair s courting of the middle classes which won New Labour the 1997 election but now Tory and Labour politicians are pressing the party to

POLITICIANS have warned Labour to get back to its roots ahead of the party conference this weekend.

It was Tony Blair's courting of the middle classes which won New Labour the 1997 election but now Tory and Labour politicians are pressing the party to address its traditional voters.

As Brighton bed-and-breakfast owners triple their rates ahead of the city hosting the Labour Party conference from Sunday until next Thursday, the Times asks politicians from the area what they would like to hear from the top table.

Conservative Orpington MP John Horam, who has been an MP for three parties, including Labour and the Social Democrat Party, said: "My advice to them would be to stop making mistakes. Barry Sheerman was in the House of Commons last week saying he was going to challenge Gordon Brown.

"They should back Brown. Who else is there anyway? Everyone knows £175 billion of debt needs paying back and that will mean possible spending cuts.

"They should probably concentrate on their core vote - people in the North who work in the public sector."

Leader of the Labour Party on Bromley Council John Getgood said: "We must send out a clear message that it was Labour policies to stimulate the economy and takeover some banks that have prevented this downturn being even worse, and that the Tories opposed both these measures and have been shown to be wrong.

"We must be proud of our achievements in improving the health service and schools to an extent that would never have happened under mean-spirited Tory governments.

"But the level of debt is not particularly high by international or historic comparison and we must not let the Tory policy of glorifying in a retreat from public service to become the dominant idea.

"I want to see a focus on those issues which define us as different from the Tories. We believe in intervention, social justice and opportunity for all. The great disparity in incomes between the poorest and highly-rewarded executives needs to be tackled to bring about a fairer society.

"Tax rates for the very highest earners can be increased to provide the greater support needed for those less fortunate."

He added: "Above all, I want to see the Labour Party come out of the conference in a mood of confidence. I want it to show up the shallowness and incompetence of a Tory Party that still pursues policies of favouring the wealthy while damning the poor.

"I want the party to have the confidence to reconnect with those people who have made up the traditional Labour vote and who need to be persuaded that Labour still holds those core values."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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