Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Keir Starmer trying to ‘channel Blair, Attlee and Wilson to win next election’

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In 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 Diagnosis of Defeat report written by Lord Michael Ashcroft, what really cost the party the election was its leader – Jeremy Corbyn.

The report, published earlier this year, 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 Starmer – who succeeded Mr Corbyn on April 4 – certainly appears to be different from his predecessor.

First of all, Sir Keir’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, Sir Keir served as his Shadow Brexit Secretary.

As many Labour supporters wonder whether he will be able to beat Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the next general election, Labour historian and author Greg Rosen told how Sir Keir has already “substantially” restored his party’s electability.

He said: “Starmer’s achievement is remarkable in turning round Labour’s political fortunes.

“From the worst election defeat since before World War 2 to at least being level pegging to the Conservatives…

“Doing that so quickly is a very substantial achievement.”

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Mr Rosen added: “He has clearly learnt lessons from Labour’s most successful leaders.

“Tony Blair along with Harold Wilson and Clement Attlee were without a doubt Labour’s most successful election winning leaders.

“And Starmer, like them, is seeking to voice the concerns of ordinary British voters.”

Earlier this month, Sir Keir banished Mr Corbyn to the shadows of history.

During his first conference speech, the Labour leader claimed his party “deserved” to lose the December general election.

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He said: “It’s time to get serious about winning.

“In the 75 years since the historic victory of 1945, there have only been three Labour winners.

“I want to be the fourth.

“And when you look to 1945, 1964 and 1997, you learn an important lesson.

“The lesson is don’t look back, look to the future.”

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