Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey set out his approach to the policy brief and plan to win back the trust of the armed forces in an exclusive interview with LabourList broadcast live on Tuesday evening.
The online event saw the long-serving shadow cabinet member cover coronavirus, the election of Joe Biden in the US, the changing nature of warfare, the recent overseas operations bill and the impact of Brexit on defence.
Healey told LabourList that he had not suggested a move to defence before being appointed by Keir Starmer, but that the new Labour leader had asked him to “develop an authoritative Labour voice on defence again”.
The shadow cabinet member said he wanted people to know that “Labour could speak for the squaddie” while also maintaining its “adherence to international law, human rights and those sort of values”.
Asked about the scale of Labour’s challenge in the policy area for which he is responsible, Healey said: “Quite simply, defence and security may not win Labour an election, but it can be a big factor in us losing another election.