Keir Starmer: Labor shouldn't trash Tony Blair or Jeremy Corbyn – BBC News, BBC News

Keir Starmer: Labor shouldn't trash Tony Blair or Jeremy Corbyn – BBC News, BBC News


                                 Keir StarmerImage copyright                 Getty Images                                                  

Labor leadership hopeful Sir Keir Starmer has called for unity and said “factionalism has to go” if the party is to recover from its election defeat.

Speaking at his campaign launch in Manchester, he said: “We are not going to trash the last Labor government… nor are we going to trash the last four years [under Jeremy Corbyn] “.

He has also vowed to end anti-Semitism in the Labor Party.

Sir Keir is one of six candidates running to replace Mr Corbyn as leader.

The shadow Brexit secretary haswon the backing of the UK’s largest trade union (**************, Unison.************* However, on Saturday the grassroots group Momentum said it will ballot its members on backing Rebecca Long Bailey in the contest.

During his speech on Saturday, the MP for Holborn and St Pancras said: “We can’t fight the Tories if we are fighting each other. Factio nalism has to go. “

He criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson, describing him as a” man of no principles and no moral compass, who will go anywhere to stay in power “.

However, Sir Keir said he would not “trash” the Labor governments of Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, or the previous leadership of Mr Corbyn. He said there had been “many important moves” made.

Jeremy Corbyn was right to make us the party to fight austerity , “Sir Keir said. “We build on that, we don’t trash it going forward.”

He said Labor should treat the 2017 manifesto as its foundation going forward, saying the next manifesto must “give hope to people that the next years can be better with a Labor government “.

Speaking to the BBC after the speech, he said:” I think what we need to do is make a radical and relevant case to [voters] for change. They need to know it’s going to work and trust us to implement it.

“I’m absolutely committed to the fundamental change needed to deal with the rank inequality in this country.”

Image caption                                    There are currently six MPs in the Labor leadership contest                             

BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley called Sir Keir “the man to beat “in the contest and said the leadership hopeful was” not shying away from being radical “.

He added: “But it’s interesting that he said‘s manifesto should be a foundation – that was a lot less radical than the

manifesto, which many in the party believed offered far too much far too quickly. ”

Earlier, Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast he would personally take charge of the fight against anti-Semitism in the Labor Party.

“If you’re anti-Semitic you should not be in the Labor Party. It is not complicated,” he said .

Sir Keir insisted that anyone who is anti-Semitic should be “chucked out” and said he would take “personal responsibility” for the issue.


Sir Keir was the first of the six labor leadership contenders to secure the 90 nominations required to progress to the next stage of the contest.

Shadow business secretary Mrs Long Bailey and backbenchers Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips have also received the required support.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, who currently has nominations, and Clive Lewis, with four, are seeking more support.

                                                                                                      Image copyright                 PA Media                                                      
Image caption                                    Momentum is to ballot its members on backing Rebecca Long Bailey as the next leader                             

Mrs Long Bailey also addressed anti-Semitism at a Labor event in Staffordshire on Saturday, saying “We got to make sure this never happens again.”

She added: “Voters did not trust that we were united within our party. Our voters expect us to be united and professional – and yes, we are passionate about what we believe in because it matters so much.

“But that passion must never spill over into abuse, wherever it is coming from. “

A new leader and deputy leader will be announced on 4 April.

‘Huge decision’

Momentum has said it will ballot its members early next week on its recommendation to back Mrs Long Bailey and Angela Rayner for leader and deputy leader respectively.

Following a meeting of the organization’s steering group, it issued a statement saying Mrs Long Bailey was the “only viable candidate” able to build on the party’s “socialist agenda”.*** We need a new generation of left-wing MPs to lead our party and build on Labor’s popular policy agenda , “a spokesman said.

Momentum also said it was recommending support for Ms Rayner as deputy, saying the pair could” work well together “and” unite the party against the Conservatives “.

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