Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson said the party had to “do better” and needed to “deal with the issues that divide us”.
He made his plea during a speech to the Scottish Labour Party conference in Perth.
Mr Watson said: “I have said it a lot recently, this is not the time for a leadership election, that issue was settled last year – but we have to do better, we cannot sustain this level of distance from our electorate.”
The MP was speaking after Labour lost the Copeland by-election. The Cumbrian seat had been held by the party for more than 80 years but was won by the Conservatives in Thursday’s poll.