John McDonnell admitted he was in shock after the General Election exit poll predicted a horror night for the Labour Party.
The shadow chancellor, who is looking for election in Hayes and Harlington, struggled to hide his emotions in an interview with the BBC.
The exit poll predicted Labour’s worse result since 1983, with a 5.4% swing to the Conservative party delivering Boris Johnson a possibly majority of 86 in the House of Commons.
If true that would see 71 Labour seats wiped out, their worst result since 1935.
“If it is near that it will be extremely disappointing for the party and our movement,” said
McDonnell. “It’s come as a shock, I thought it would be closer and the polls were narrowing.
“But it’s extremely disappointing if it is anywhere near this, we have to be honest about that.”
Mr McDonnell blamed the over-arching campaign narrative of Brexit as the reason Labour seem to have had a nightmare at Christmas.
“Brexit has dominated everything,” he told Andrew Neil. “We thought other issues would cut through but on this evidence it clearly hasn’t.
“There was a media campaign against Jeremy Corbyn but as we got through the campaign his polling ratings began to rise quite well but the big issue was Brexit.
“People wanted a decision about Brexit and that’s hit us hard, the party’s position has straddled our members who supported remain when many of us were representing leave seats.”
However, Mr McDonnell refused to comment on whether his and Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party was now at an end.
This is a second straight defeat for party and Neil Kinnock resigned after losing in 1997 and 1992,
“Let’s see the results and then decisions will be made,” he said.