Speaking to the university’s Labour club at an event entitled Principles, Politics and Pathway to Power, Hunt said: “My fear is algorithmic politics [where because] everyone shares the same views as you on social media and in your social circles you become a sect rather than a party.”
According to the Cambridge University student newspaper Varsity, Hunt told students: “You are the top 1%. The Labour party is in the shit. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership going forward.” A spokesperson for Hunt stressed that his comments specifically referred to the party’s defeat in the general election.
Hunt was one of a group of former members of the Labour shadow cabinet to rule out serving on Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench if he was elected Labour leader and has been outspoken about the party’s need to prioritise efforts to return to government.
Speaking last month at Sheffield University, Hunt argued that Labour had “marched decisively away from the views of voters on issues that are fundamental to our electoral prospects: immigration, personal financial interest, welfare, public services, and business”.
Asked about Corbyn’s leadership, Hunt reportedly told members of the Cambridge Labour club that Corbyn was “leader until he is not”, stressing that he had won 60% of the vote. “The way you serve the Corbyn leadership is to be as dissenting and creative as possible,” he said, adding that the party was in a “period of intellectual renewal”.
Speaking on Monday, Hunt said: “My message to the students at Cambridge was clear: Labour has a mountain to climb if we are to recover from our defeat in May, and as the next generation of Labour activists they are absolutely central to our efforts to renew.
“I am confident that – with the support of committed Labour activists from across the country, and from all walks of life – we can build a strong, credible and forward-looking movement that promotes the interests of the many, not the few.”
This article was written by Frances Perraudin, for theguardian.com on Monday 2nd November 2015 16.14 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010