A Blackpool MP has accused the Labour party of resembling the failed Conservatives of 1997.
Paul Maynard, the Tory MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, warned Labour that until it was willing to change, it would never be in a position to return to power.
“I think back to 1997 when the Conservative Party had this appalling, dramatic defeat,” he said.
“How did it react? I would argue that for a short while we thought that the voters had got it wrong.
“That we could keep thrashing away at the same old themes and that very soon the voters would be aware of their folly.
“Of course it didn’t happen, it took us 13 years and three election defeats to realise that actually singing the same old tune, time and time again, didn’t deliver the promised nirvana.
“So when I listen to members opposite now I feel as though I am listening to the Conservative Party of 1997.
“Only now it’s the Labour Party of 2013: unwilling to change, going back to what makes it feel comfortable, thrashing the tobacco companies, perhaps quite rightly, but there needs to be a much stronger base then a dislike for global capitalism for Heaven’s sake.”
Mr Maynard was speaking after an intervention by Labour’s John Woodcook (Barrow and Furness), in which he had expressed regret at the omission of a law on plain tobacco packaging in the Queen’s Speech.