Harriet Harman says the Labour Party must change if it can genuinely take on the Conservatives and “command confidence”.
Although she retained her seat with a huge majority, nationally Labour support has crumbled leading to a huge Tory win.
Harman, who ran for Speaker but lost to Lindsay Hoyle, said in her victory speech: “Although this is a great result for us, this overall nationally is a terrible result which will have a terrible impact on people here.
“We all know that people here need better housing, they need more housing, they need affordable housing, they need the NHS properly funded.
“They need jobs where they don’t have to do two or more jobs to make ends meet. They need a welfare system that supports them and not punishes them.
“They need opportunity and they need fairness and they face the truly dreadful prospect which they so wanted not to happen, which is not even a Conservative minority government but after tonight a Conservative government with a huge majority.
“But we must not succumb to dismay and despair about the impact this will have on people in Camberwell and Peckham and people round the country.
“We must be absolutely determined to make the change in the party that is necessary so that we can be an effective opposition, so that we can command confidence, as an alternative party of government.”
Exactly what change is needed was unsaid – but Harman was notably absent from the party’s national election campaign.
Now Corbyn has confirmed he will stand down before the next general election, after delivering the worst Labour result in three decades, could Harman be in line for a caretaker leader – or even permanent leader role?
The News has contacted Harman for comment, but as yet has had no reply.