Labour’s lack of patriotism damaged it in England and the party must now “wrap itself” in the St George’s Cross to win back voters, the shadow education secretary will say.
Tristram Hunt will tell the party it must embrace its English identity and embark on a “relentless” drive to build Labour’s economic credibility if it is to return to power.
Backing plans for an English Labour Party, he will say it is also time for more devolution to towns and cities.
Voters are more likely to put their trust in nationalist or right-wing parties to defend the national culture and Labour must show it is proud to celebrate “love of country” to win back support, he will say in the speech in London.
The party must chart a course between the populist politics of Greece’s Syriza and the resurgent right-wing as it now starts the rebuilding process, he will add.
Mr Hunt, who is backing Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership contest, will say: “We need to ally the emotional connection, the patriotism and the grassroots engagement – with a more obviously ‘Blairite’ approach to regaining trust with the public finances.
“A politics which is patriotic and prudent, compassionate and competent, emotionally intelligent and economically literate.”
He will add: “The perception that centre-right and nationalist parties have a deeper and more emotional affinity with the nation, leads voters to lend them their trust when it comes to defending the national culture and interest.
“And that means the Labour Party here in England needs to catch-up or risk futility – because we cannot afford to ignore Labour’s England problem.
“The Tories ruthlessly exploited concerns in England about the SNP during the election campaign. So we need to embrace our English identity, emphasise our English culture and rediscover the history of radical England.
“It is time for an English Labour Party to complement our Scottish and Welsh counterparts.
“Time too for an English ‘devo-max’ settlement which, alongside city and combined authority devolution, should reform the constitution to account for how Scottish ‘home rule’ will shape England and Britain.
“But most of all it is time to create a culture where our party is proud to celebrate its patriotism and love of country.”
Jon Cruddas, a former adviser to Ed Miliband, revealed last month that an English Labour Party was being set up. Although the grouping will initially be informal, the backbencher said he believed it would “end up” being officially recognised in the same way the Scottish and Welsh divisions are.
Mr Hunt will insist such a move will not divide the party.
“We were beaten by a tag team of Nicola Sturgeon and David Cameron,” he will say. “In Scotland voters were told we would sell them out to the Tories. In England, voters were told we would sell them out to the SNP.
“Neither was true but we were feeble in our response. If Scottish Labour needs to rediscover its cultural and emotional ties to the Scottish identity, then the Labour party in England needs to embrace our English identity.
“I do not believe an English Labour Party will undermine solidarity with our colleagues in Scotland.
“Remember, the story the SNP tell about the English is far removed from a traditionally nationalist politics of grievance.
“Rather, it is far more an account of how England’s innate conservatism continually thwarts Scotland’s social justice ambitions.
“Therefore, I believe reclaiming radical England; telling the story of England’s progressive achievements; can help to negate that damaging SNP story.
“To remind us once again that so many of Scotland’s social justice ambitions are shared by the people of England;
“And that in the face of the enormous challenge of globalisation – a strong, common union is the best way of realising them together.”