Anneliese Dodds, 43, was replaced as Shadow Chancellor by Rachel Reeves in May. Ms Dodds, now Labour Party chair, told Express.co.uk: “Many people in the southeast feel the Conservatives have been taking them for granted, and that for a while now the party hasn’t been listening to them.
“Labour has stood up for those people and made sure their voice is heard and their concerns are addressed.”
Rishi Sunak’s former opposite number, who served as Labour’s lone MEP for the south east in Brussels and Strasbourg before entering the Commons in 2017, went on to claim: “We’re seeing results, with Labour gains in places like Worthing and Chipping Norton – and that makes a real difference to people’s lives.
“We’ve shown that Labour is on people’s side, and that our belief that we are stronger together is one shared in every part of the country.”
However, the elections held on Super Thursday in early May were a mixed bag for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.
Overall, they lost control of 8 councils and faced net losses of 327 councillors.
Across the so-called Red Wall, which stretches throughout the Leave-voting Midlands and north of England, the party suffered further losses following the 2019 general election, including defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.
Even in areas of the south which backed Brexit, including once marginal towns such as Basildon and Swindon, Labour also fell back while Boris Johnson’s Conservatives took control.
But Labour also made net gains in Remain-backing Brighton, Cambridgeshire, Canterbury and Oxfordshire, including in the once true blue ward of Chipping Norton.
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Following Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous defeat in the 2019 general election, a report co-authored by Labour MP Lucy Powell claimed without revival in Scotland, Sir Keir Starmer’s party would need to win over southern seats, including Jacob Rees-Mogg’s in North East Somerset, if it hopes to command a majority in the House of Commons.
While it remains unlikely Labour can overturn the Leader of the House’s 14,279-vote majority, Dan Norris edged past the Conservative candidate for West of England mayoralty in the counting area that straddles Mr Rees-Mogg’s constituency with the Lib Dem seat of Bath.
However, Labour also made some inroads into the Blue Wall during the 2017 general election campaign, when the ex-Opposition Whip Rosie Duffield captured the once safe seat of Canterbury from Theresa May’s Tories.
Ms Dodds comments to Express.co.uk come as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, embarks on his tour of the Conservatives’ Blue Wall.
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However, while the Lib Dems knocked the first brick out of the Blue Wall at the Chesham & Amersham by-election in July, opinion poll data indicates Labour are on course to outflank Davey’s detachment in the south of England.
Last month, YouGov released a Blue Wall poll which found Sir Keir Starmer’s party could overturn Tory majorities in up to nine constituencies in the Conservatives’ shire heartlands.
If emulated at a general election, the poll suggested Labour could topple the former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford & Woodford Green and oust the prominent Eurosceptic representing Wycombe Steve Baker.
Other seats tipped to turn red include: Chipping Barnet, Filton & Bradley Stoke, Hendon, Kensington, Milton Keynes North, Stroud, and Truro & Falmouth and Wycombe.
Despite the noise coming out of the Liberal Democrats, YouGov’s poll suggested Sir Ed Davey’s party could make just three gains in Cheltenham, Winchester and Wimbledon.
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