Express & Star

'Impossible to say how many phone calls I have a day' admits Labour's election campaign chief

A week after Rishi Sunak called his surprise General Election and Labour's national election campaign boss Pat McFadden phone is blowing up.

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MP Pat McFadden

His job includes everything from explaining the Labour Party's campaign to the media to inspiring first time and veteran election candidates this is going to be their year whilst ensuring they stick within his strategy, Mr McFadden is a busy man.

Busier than ever before, in the busiest six weeks of his life. If Sir Keir Starmer gets the keys to 10 Downing Street on July 5 then Pat McFadden will go down as the man who masterminded Labour's first election victory since Tony Blair's third victory in 2005.

Wolverhampton South East MP Mr McFadden told the Express & Star: "It would be impossible to say how many phone calls and WhatsApp interactions I am having each day, and they are long days."

However, if Labour remain in opposition, after either an outright Tory victory or a hung parliament coalition without a red tinge then the 59-year-old will have a lifetime of questions about missing the political equivalent of an open goal to answer.

As for the timing of the election, that will be forever Rishi Sunak's masterstroke or misstep.

Mr McFadden admitted he was taken by surprise by the PM's summer poll decision.

He said: "I was surprised, like everyone else. But what surprised me, as they called the elections, is how this decision took the Conservatives by surprise just look at the resignations and constituencies without a Tory candidate yet. It is like their time in Government, they seem to be in chaos."

More than 70 sitting Conservative MPs have announced they will not try and seek re-election, with Telford MP Lucy Allen telling supporters to vote for Reform UK.

Mr McFadden added: "But I think Rishi's early election call shows how he does not believe his plan is working, If he believed the economy was going to get better, then he would have waited and shown everyone his plan worked.

"However,I think he knows inflation is going to get higher and he knows he will not stop the boats coming across the channel over the summer now. Now, I think Express & Star readers are clever enough to understand this and I am pretty sure they will not vote for 19 years of Tory Government."

He added: "This election is all about change, the chaos cannot continue."

As well as marshalling his party's electoral troops Mr McFadden has to ensure his home front is safe too, the Wolverhampton South East constituency he has held since 2010.

He said: "I have loved being an MP for the people of Wolverhampton South East, and though I have this national role in the party, there is no doubt where a lot of my campaign will be spent, and that is in Wolverhampton.

"Every day is a long day, and it will feel like a long campaign, but as I say, I think the people are ready for change."