Published On: Tue, Apr 21st, 2020

Labour news: Starmer insider exposes crucial difference between Labour leader and Blair | UK | News


Last December, the Labour Party suffered its worst defeat since 1935.In the run-up to the election, the party’s manifesto received heavy criticism for being unrealistic, overreaching, and unpersuasive. Former Labour Party leader Tony Blair described it as “promising the earth but from a planet other than Earth”.

However, according to the recent Diagnosis of Defeat report, what really doomed the party was its leader — Jeremy Corbyn.

More than half of the defectors, three quarters of whom chose the Conservative Party, said that Labour would “need to change very significantly” before they could return to the fold.

The report, published earlier this year, was written by Lord Ashcroft and was based on a poll of more than 10,000 voters as well as focus groups in traditional Labour heartlands that turned blue.

Sir Keir — who succeeded Mr Corbyn on April 4 — certainly appears to be different from the veteran left-winger.

Mr Starmer’s scepticism of Mr Corbyn was evident early on, as he did not initially back the former leader and was later part of the effort to oust him in 2016.

When this failed, Mr Starmer served as shadow Brexit secretary and helped guide the party towards a more coherent stance on Brexit.

The son of a nurse and a tool maker, Mr Starmer attended a grammar school and then Oxford University. A human-rights lawyer, he was the director of public prosecutions between 2008 and 2013.

As many Labour supporters wonder whether he will be able to hold the Tories to account and restore the party’s electability, a senior practising barrister who has known Sir Keir for many years has shed some light on his personality.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the senior barrister, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed Sir Keir is modelling his policies around former Labour leader Tony Blair but noted that there is a crucial difference between the two.

He said: “As a politician, personally, I see his demeanour and to an extent his politics as very New Labour, not that he nor his allies would want him to be seen as New Labour but centrist yes.

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“He will plug his socialist credentials as he has to and there is no doubt he is sincere on his social values and commitment to public services but you can see he has modelled aspects of his delivery, his style on Tony Blair – just without the messianic demeanour.”

The source added: “When he went into the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) he brought with him that zeal to include and it kind of bit him at the start.

“He went around the country to all the CPS outlets saying ‘if your morale is low just email me.

“‘I am your DPP and will deal with it – I want to listen.’

“Problem is everyone did get back to him and he couldn’t reply to everyone.

“He may have learned from that.”

The senior barrister concluded: “Is he very Blair?

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“He does the whole blank canvas thing well which Blair managed in his early years in charge of the party – handy when you are trying to unite big factions and outward faces at the same time.”

It is not the first time Sir Keir has been compared to Mr Blair.

Last week, Former Labour MP George Galloway branded the new Labour leader “Tony Blair 2.0”.

Mr Galloway, who leads the Workers Party of Britain, made the remarks on his ‘Mother of All Talk Shows’ radio programme.

He criticised Mr Starmer for not allowing either Corbynistas Ian Lavery or Richard Burgon into the Shadow Cabinet and called it a “disastrous error”.



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