Labour risks losing northern strongholds if party fails to tackle 'immigration worries'
Tristram Hunt has predicted Labour will lose voters if it ignores the "dramatic changes" immigration has prompted in some communities.
Hunt, a prominent critic of leader Jeremy Corbyn, claims the party is failing to address some of the biggest issues for millions of voters.
He told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: "If the Labour Party looks too much like a metropolitan, Southern cosmopolitan party not speaking to their values then they're going to move away from us and that will be devastating for us in the long run."
"We have seen this great wave of change coming in to the country and if the Labour Party say 'don't worry about that, it's good for the NHS, it's good for public services, don't worry,' actually a lot of people are worrying and we do have to tackle that."
His comments come after shadow Europe minister Pat Glass described a voter who referred to a Polish family as "scroungers" as a "horrible racist" while on the EU referendum campaign trail.
Asked about Ms Glass's comments, he said: "This is why we need a root and branch rethinking of this issue within the culture of our party, because if people think we're only saying one thing in this studio but when I leave this studio I think something else, well they're not going to trust us.
"It is not racist to talk about immigration. It is not racist to reflect on the changes that happen to communities.”
The Stoke-on-Trent MP also believes there is not "much sign" of a change in view since Jeremy Corbyn became leader after last year's general election.
He said: ”We are an anti-racist party, we value the contribution of immigration to this country but we also know that certain parts of the community are having really dramatic changes and we need to speak to that and then we need to have policies to deal with that.”
Mr Hunt’s views come as Labour is being split by a new anti-EU movement sweeping left-wing voters.
A Lexit campaign which is gathering speed is set to see millions of voters defy their leader and opt to leave the Union.