Brexit or Corbyn to blame? Reaction from the Sheffield count

As the Conservative party won their biggest majority since Thatcher, Labour party members were left to reflect on what went wrong nationally.

Finger pointing began soon after the exit poll predicted a Conservative landslide. Caroline Flint, former Labour MP for Don Valley, was quick to blame Corbyn and his Brexit policy.

Speaking to JUS News, Labour MP for Sheffield South East Clive Betts laid on the same two issues.

“One was Brexit. My constituency voted leave and so did many other labour seats that will lose tonight. Many people think we’re ignoring them. Conversations about trying to protect jobs therefore fell on deaf ears.”

“The other thing was Jeremy himself. I don’t want to kick him while he’s down like many will but that’s what people were saying to us: ‘We don’t see Jeremy as the Prime Minister we want and while we want you as our MP and we’ve always voted Labour, we just can’t do it this time.”

Paul Blomfield said that Corbyn had become an increasingly hard sell on the doorstep.

“In parts of the region people have been unconvinced by the leadership of the party, they’ve been concerned by Brexit and we’ve failed to break through with the agenda we’ve set out,” he said.

Jeremy Corbyn reacted to the results by declaring that he would not lead the party in the next election but would stay for “a process of reflection”.

Mr Blomfield said this was the correct decision.

Marc Bayliss, an unsuccessful Conservative candidate for Sheffield South East, agreed that Brexit and Corbyn helped his party.

“I think Corbyn plays very badly. I would say he was one of the Conservative party’s greatest assets in this election. People were very worried about what a Corbyn government would mean and they’ve rejected that tonight,” he said.

BBC Look North Presenter Harry Gration also blamed Corbyn.

“It’s because Jeremy Corbyn got it very wrong. I’m a dad and I’ve got two boys about to go to university. I want free tuition but somebody has to pay for it. All these freebies that were being offered didn’t stack up and he got that wrong,” he said.