Hard-Left tells Sir Keir Starmer to stick to Jeremy Corbyn's policies

Hard-Left tells Sir Keir Starmer to stick to Jeremy Corbyn's policies

September 20, 2020

Hard-Left tells Sir Keir Starmer to stick to Jeremy Corbyn’s policies – as party officials hit back by condemning ex-Labour leader for holding high-profile events at ‘virtual’ party conference

  • MPs loyal to ex-leader warn Sir Keir not to abandon Mr Corbyn’s ‘overwhelmingly popular’ Left-wing agenda
  • Online virtual rally – owing to Covid-19 – begins today with party unveiling the slogan ‘A New Leadership’
  • At rally for Socialist Campaign Group on Monday, party figures loyal to  Left-wing agenda charted by former leader will warn Sir Keir not to ‘lurch to the Right’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s bid to reaffirm his control over his party was met yesterday with claims from the hard-Left that he could betray Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy.

MPs loyal to the former leader warned Sir Keir not to abandon Mr Corbyn’s ‘overwhelmingly popular’ Left-wing agenda.

But Labour Party officials hit back by condemning Mr Corbyn for holding high-profile events at this week’s ‘virtual’ party conference.

The conference – relegated to an online virtual rally owing to Covid-19 – begins today with the party unveiling the slogan ‘A New Leadership’.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s bid to reaffirm his control over his party was met yesterday with claims from the hard-Left that he could betray Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy

The phrase replaces ‘Under New Management’ which Sir Keir, who replaced Mr Corbyn in May, has been using during the summer. 

But at an online rally for the Socialist Campaign Group on Monday, party figures loyal to the Left-wing agenda charted by the former leader will warn Sir Keir not to ‘lurch to the Right’ by burying Mr Corbyn’s policy platform.

Former Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Trickett is set to use the event to launch a thinly veiled rebuke of the new leader for failing to set out a vision that will take Labour back to power. 

In an article to coincide with the rally, he will warn: ‘We can’t cross our fingers and expect to win the next Election by default.’

He will acknowledge Sir Keir’s success in holding Boris Johnson to account over the Covid crisis but will add: ‘It’s not enough to chip away at Boris’s blundering and the Tories’ incompetence. We have to make people feel they’re voting for something – not just against something.

MPs loyal to the former leader warned Sir Keir not to abandon Mr Corbyn’s ‘overwhelmingly popular’ Left-wing agenda. (Above, Corbyn last December)

‘It would be folly to ditch all the policy platform built up over the last five years. Build on it, yes! But don’t jettison the core principles.’

Insisting Mr Corbyn’s policies were popular with both the party membership and the electorate, Mr Trickett writes: ‘The last thing we need in the age of Covid, when even the Tories see the sense of massive state intervention, is for Labour to lurch to the Right.’ 

Sources loyal to Sir Keir hit back last night by pointing out that only this weekend a YouGov poll showed Labour had now drawn level with the Tories on 40 per cent each.

One said: ‘It’s pretty ridiculous for the hard-Left to start whingeing about Keir, given how much progress he’s made in restoring the party’s reputation since our disastrous Election result under Corbyn.’

Separately, Labour officials also protested at Mr Corbyn’s decision to take part in virtual pre-conference meetings yesterday, saying he should be keeping a low profile.

One said: ‘At the same time Labour women’s conference hears from black female MPs and members, Jeremy Corbyn is hosting a rival event that matters most to him – his ego.’

But last night, allies of the former leader insisted he had every right to take part in conference meetings and branded the criticisms ‘absurd’. 

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