Quoting Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown intervened on Sunday in the turmoil in Labour over the possibility of the hard-left Jeremy Corbyn being elected leader, and told members to support principles over individuals.
Recalling phases in the party’s history when it had lost elections and faced a similar uncertain future, Brown did not mention Corbyn but indirectly referred to him by saying that the party should ultimately be ‘electable’ to deliver to the people the principles it stood on.
Corbyn is perceived to be popular but unable to lead the party to an electoral victory. Polls suggest that Corbyn is the overwhelming frontrunner in the four-cornered leadership contest triggered by the resignation of Ed Miliband after the May election defeat.
Voting begins on Monday and the result is due to be announced on September 12.
Brown quoted Gandhi to party members: “Consider the face of the poorest and most vulnerable human being that you have ever chanced upon, and ask yourself if the act that you contemplate will be of benefit to that person”.
Brown said Labour had to become “credible” and “electable” once again in order to change people’s lives, and added that it was “not an abandonment of principles to seek power”.