JEREMY CORBYN and John McDonnell have rightly accepted their share of the blame for Labour’s disastrous defeat in the General Election.

But Mr McDonnell is also right to say that media bias played a significant part in this. Research by Loughborough University showed that press reports about Labour were overwhelmingly negative, while reports on the Conservatives were mainly positive.

The attacks on Mr Corbyn began as soon as he was selected as a candidate for the Labour leadership, with Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell leading the “anyone but Corbyn” campaign. Mr Blair has never stopped sniping from the sidelines ever since.

John McDonnell has also acknowledged that he had failed to get across the message that Labour’s manifesto was not a promise of a sackful of freebies to be delivered by Santa on December 13, but a carefully-costed ten-year programme to create a fairer society.

Tony Blair certainly didn’t get it. For example, in his latest attack (Echo, Dec 19), he says that Labour’s promise of free and fast broadband for all by 2030 was “the final confirmation of incredibility.”

In South Korea, 99 per cent of premises are connected to full-fibre broadband. In Japan, it’s 97 per cent, in Portugal 89 per cent and in Spain 71 per cent. Britain lags woefully behind with just seven per cent connected.

Fast internet connection is vital to business development, and also enables children to do their homework and older people to access vital services.

Research indicates that Labour’s proposal would have led to a productivity increase worth £59bn by 2025 rising to £70bn by 2038. In other words, it would have paid for itself.

Pete Winstanley, Durham