Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer has said that the party has lost the trust of the public and must become a more tolerant place.
Speaking on a campaign visit to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge he insisted he had the “ability to bring the party together”.
Sir Keir refused to comment on whether a Labour Party under his leadership would be more like Jeremy Corbyn or Tony Blair’s Labour.
“I’m always asked to hug a politician of the past and I’m not going to do it,” he said.
He said there were “many reasons” for Labour’s defeat in December’s general election.
“Cumulatively I think we lost the trust of the public because the Labour Party is a force for good and a force for change,” he said.
“We need to get that trust back.
“I went to 44 constituencies in the election.
“Almost everybody I met wanted things to change.
“Nobody was saying things are all right as they are.
“They just didn’t trust the Labour Party to be the party that could effect that change.
“It’s fundamentally about trust.”
He said that Labour must have “all conversations in a respectful way and a tolerant way so that every voice is heard”.
During his visit to the hospital he met patients and heard about innovative work to test new drugs.