Sir Keir Starmer preps for a tough electoral battle, promising a party reform that exceeds Tony Blair’s Clause Four revisions.
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has braced his party for a “dirty and nasty” campaign leading up to next year’s general election, asserting that his plans to reform the party surpass Sir Tony Blair’s symbolic rewriting of Clause Four.
Addressing the Progressive Britain Conference in London, Starmer shared his vision for a resurgent Labour following local election success. However, he acknowledged the uphill battle if Labour is to reclaim power for the first time since 2010.
“The nature of our politics is such that I’ve always known it’s going to get dirty and nasty. It isn’t pleasant, but we have to get on with it,” Starmer confessed during a Q&A session.
Despite the challenging path ahead, he urged his party to remain optimistic, stating, “This is the bit where we get to talk about the future of the country, with hope.”
Starmer’s arrival on stage was marked by a standing ovation. His speech honed in on the need for Labour to appeal to working-class voters ahead of the expected 2024 election.
He highlighted the ‘unforgivable’ drift away from working people, calling for a complete change in the party culture.
“We’ve been drifting away from working people for a long time – and that’s unforgivable. This is about rolling up our sleeves, changing our entire culture. It’s our DNA,” he proclaimed.
Starmer’s ambitious reform agenda, which he referred to as “Clause Four on steroids,” aims to address the issues causing cynicism in politics, the drifting away from core supporters, the collapse in Scotland, and the loss of the ‘red wall.’
He emphasised the importance of stability and preservation, even if it sounded conservative.
The SNP’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, promptly attacked Starmer’s comments, branding Labour a “replica” of the Conservatives.