Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy obliterated: Keir Starmer to ‘slaughter’ extreme left-wing policies
Keir Starmer grilled on ‘deselecting’ Jeremy Corbyn
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The Labour leader is set to make a series of speeches in which he will set out his stance on a number of key issues. The announcements are the next stage of the Holborn and St Pancras MP’s plan to make the party electable at the next election.
Starting next week, the Labour leader is said to be planning to make a major speech outlining his view on “meaty” economic issues.
Under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, the party campaigned to re-nationalisation of rail, mail, energy and water, pledged free broadband internet for Britons, and to impose £82billion a year in tax increases.
Since taking over as leader, Sir Keir has sought to moderate Labour’s offering to make it more widely appealing.
A source close to the leader told City AM his speeches in the coming weeks would set out “a totally distinct path from 2019”.
Another senior party source said Sir Keir would “slaughter the sacred cows of Corbynism”.
While next week’s speech is not expected to announce the party is ditching the nationalisation pledged made in 2019, it will make clear the direction of travel.
The intervention will “put more meat on the bones of what a Starmer government will focus on,” an ally said.
A senior Labour source said: “There’s no point wasting political capital on these issues when they’re just not a priority for people and it’s something that we’ll keep getting attacked on.
“When I go out on the doorsteps people aren’t bringing up nationalising water companies or Royal Mail.”
The policy shift is likely to enrage supporters of Mr Corbyn and more left-wing MPs in the party.
When Sir Keir was campaigning to be made Labour leader, he set out 10 pledges to members that he promised to stand by if he took over the top job.
They included support of “common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system”.
But Sir Keir and his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves have spent the last year or so looking to move away from the commitments to make the party more electable.
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Ms Reeves refers to Labour as a “pro-business party” and has set out opposition to Government tax rises.
Polls have indicated voters’ trust with Labour on the economy is slowly improving.
Mr Corbyn’s extreme economic plans were seen to be partially to blame for Labour’s humiliation at the ballot box in 2019.
The party suffered its worst result since 1935, losing 59 seats.
One left-wing MP in the party criticised Sir Keir’s plan to distance himself from the 2019 manifesto.
They said it would be “nonsensical” to abandon the policies as they were popular with the public.
They told City AM: “At a time when the pandemic has proven that a hyper-free-market economy isn’t fit for purpose and led to the Tories adopting some of Labour’s most popular manifesto commitments such as the furlough scheme, and renationalisation of our railways, it would be incredibly ill-judged if Keir decides to shift away from that path.
“In the middle of a cost of living crisis, alienating huge swathes of the electorate by abandoning commitments to reign in energy and other utility companies, and bringing Britain’s railways into public control to save thousands of pounds for ordinary people, would be nonsensical.”
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