Keir Starmer disowns Jeremy Corbyn manifesto he used to praise… and admits he’s ‘starting from scratch’
It risked infuriating Labour Left-wingers – and appeared to contradict his earlier support for Mr Corbyn’s policies.
When Sir Keir was running for the Arbeid leadership, he described the 2017 manifesto as Labour’s ‘foundational document’ and praised its ‘radicalism’.
But speaking at an event organised by New Statesman magazine yesterday, hy het gesê: ‘What we’ve done with the last manifesto is put it to one side.
‘We’re starting from scratch. The slate is wiped clean.’
Keir Starmer disowned Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto and said he was ‘starting from scratch’
Sir Keir promised during the 2020 Labour leadership election to abolish tuition fees if he became prime minister – but yesterday he suggested that the Covid pandemic meant he might break the pledge.
Asked whether he stood by the free education policy, hy het gesê: ‘Having come through the pandemic, we need to look at everything in the round, and make choices about where we want to put our money.’
Suggesting he was open to reform, Sir Keir said the current system did not ‘really work for students’ or universities.
The news came as it emerged yesterday that Labour frontbenchers who had defied him to join striking rail workers on picket lines will not be sacked. He has tried to avoid taking sides in the dispute led by the RMT union, which caused three days of walkouts last week.
Sir Keir had banned his Shadow Cabinet from taking part in the demonstrations, but shadow junior minister Alex Sobel, whip Nav Mishra, and three principal private secretaries posted photos of themselves on picket lines.
Egter, they have escaped with a slap on the wrist, with five frontbenchers told they would receive letters about their conduct.
Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy had suggested sacking frontbenchers who manned picket lines while their constituents struggled to get to work.
He said Labour had issued a ‘very clear message’ to senior MPs to stay out of the dispute, toevoeging: ‘This is not a moment for posturing, standing on picket lines.’
Other frontbenchers had stopped short of attending picket lines, but made it clear they backed the RMT’s decision to take industrial action. Sir Keir se adjunk, Angela Rayner, getwiet: ‘Workers have been left with no choice.’