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The Labour party is "culturally adrift" from its traditional core voters, a former minister has warned in the wake of a row over alleged snobbery.
London mayoral hopeful David Lammy said politicians from "liberal, professional backgrounds" were finding it hard to identify with ordinary working people.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Lammy said a heavily-criticised tweet by then shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry was merely a symptom of the party's problems.
"The Labour Party feels culturally adrift, not just from large parts of Britain, but from its own traditional working class base," he wrote.
Large parts of the country feel that Labour not only disagrees with them, they think we disapprove of them too.
A sense of mutual disdain between the mainstream parties and working class England is driving voters away from politics, or towards so-called 'anti-politics' parties such as Ukip.
Ed Miliband has sought to diffuse the row over Emily Thornberry's 'white van tweet' by saying Labour remains "the party of working people".
He said he was "furious" when he learned of Ms Thornberry's posting an image of a house festooned with England flags and that it was right for her to resign.
Writing in the Daily Mirror, Mr Miliband said: "Respect is the basic rule of politics and there is nothing unusual or odd about having England flags in your window. That is why she was right to resign."
Labour leader Ed Miliband has rejected claims his party is anti-English after one of his shadow cabinet stood down for what her critics described as a "sneering" tweet on the Rochester campaign trail.
The owner of the house whose proud display of England flags had prompted Emily Thornberry's tweet arrived - by his white van - to place a St George's Cross at her London home as part of a tabloid publicity stunt.
But as ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports, he received support from Mr Miliband, who said: "There is nothing unusual or odd about having England flags in your window."
David Cameron has accused Labour of sneering at patriotic working people after Emily Thornberry was forced to stand down as shadow attorney general over her white van Rochester tweet.
The Islington South MP's picture tweet was said to have enraged Labour leader Ed Miliband while it was condemned by a number of her party colleagues.
But Mr Cameron claimed the incident accurately represented the party's stance under Mr Miliband.
Emily Thornberry is one of Ed Miliband's closest allies and aides. Effectively what this means is that Ed Miliband's Labour Party sneers at people who work hard, who are patriotic and who love their country, and I think that is absolutely appalling.
The Labour MP who resigned from the shadow cabinet after her white van Rochester tweet has said she "got it wrong" as a flag of St George was tied to railings outside her London home.
Emily Thornberry, the former shadow attorney general, stood down after facing criticism for her photo that appeared to ridicule a Rochester home with three large England flags draped across the front of the house.
The Islington South MP spoke to reporters outside her house before cycling off to Parliament.
Nigel Farage has accused Labour of becoming "increasingly anti-English" despite Ed Miliband's swift action over Emily Thornberry's controversial Rochester tweet.
Ms Thornberry resigned from her position as shadow attorney general within hours of the tweet, which appeared to ridicule a white van-owning England fan, after two meetings with Mr Miliband.
But Mr Farage said the Labour leader was ineffective at turning the mood of a party he suggested now acted against England's interests.
I doubt they can make those inroads under this leader. I mean Labour has increasingly become anti-English over time, happy to pander in every way to Scotland, but somehow this Labour Party or new Labour believes that any sense of English identity is disreputable and wrong.
Labour MP Emily Thornberry did the "right thing" to resign from the shadow cabinet after sending a tweet appearing to ridicule a home owner in Rochester, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has told Good Morning Britain.
Douglas Alexander on Emily Thornberry: "I think she did the right thing be resigning within hours of sending that tweet." #GMB
Ms Thornberry, who held the position of shadow attorney general, caused uproar during yesterday's by-election by sending out a picture of a house draped with England flags, and with a white van in the drive, with the words "Image from #Rochester".
The owner of the house and white van which Emily Thornbury took a photo of before posting it on Twitter has said the MP is a "snob".
Dan Ware,told The Sun: "I've not got a clue who she is, but she's a snob".
He said the flags had been left up since being raised when England played in the football World Cup in May.
"We will continue to fly it," he added.
Mr Ware, a 37-year-old father of four, told the newspaper he could not remember when he last voted.