Labour's Lisa Nandy focuses on patriotism in first big foreign policy speech

Lisa Nandy will tomorrow try to boost efforts to reposition Labour as a patriotic party as she bids to reclaim ground lost to the Tories.

In her first major speech nearly a year after being appointed, the Shadow Foreign Secretary is expected to “highlight Britain’s proud history of internationalism and the strong patriotism still felt in communities across the country about the positive role Britain plays in the world”.

Labour insiders are desperate to repair the damage they believe was done to the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, which was repeatedly criticised for failing to understand or promote patriotism.

Ms Nandy is due to tell the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank: “The challenges we face today demand more than empty slogans.

She is due to address the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank

“Britain needs a foreign policy that defends our national security and safeguards the prosperity of the British people.

“Labour will rebuild Britain’s reputation as a reliable international partner, match the ambition of the British people and safeguard our national interests both at home and abroad.”

Ms Nandy, who challenged Keir Starmer in the race to succeed Mr Corbyn, will pledge to “put the British people and our shared values back at the heart of foreign policy”.

Ms Nandy and eventual winner Keir Starmer ran for the party leadership

Mr Starmer has tried to stress Labour is a patriotic party

Laying out her party’s priorities, the Wigan MP will warn of the domestic impacts of foreign policy, from a UK citizen falling victim to an organised crime gang “whose tentacles stretch across the globe”, to steelworkers who “stand to lose their jobs”.

She will say: “I want to make the case today that the gulf between what we do abroad and what we choose to deliver for people at home is a direct threat to the security and prosperity of our country, that this disconnect has cost us the support and consent of the British people for our activities overseas, undermining our ability to make change in the world.

“And those choices, divorced from the everyday lives of the British public have caused nothing short of devastation for so many, writing off too many people and their communities in every nation and region of the UK.

“It doesn’t have to be like this.”


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