Keir Starmer's First 100 Days: 'He Needs To Say Sorry To Leave Voters Before Labour Can Move On'

Rachel Wearmouth
·2-min read

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Singing socialist anthem The Red Flag, Jeremy Corbyn celebrated becoming Labour leader in 2015 at the pub, mobbed, as ever, by a posse of faithful fans.

When the big moment came for Keir Starmer - who has marked 100 days at the helm of HM Opposition - the occasion was markedly more sober.

The former director of public prosecutions filmed his victory speech practically alone, as the coronavirus pandemic tightened its grip on the UK.

And with Labour facing allegations of institutional anti-Semitism, cash woes and the humiliation of its worst defeat since 1935, he was arguably taking the toughest job in British politics.

While many predicted Labour’s surge to the far left would end in electoral disaster, few doubted the direction Corbyn would take.

The same cannot be said of the former shadow Brexit secretary.

“He’s an enigma,” said one Labour MP. “Nobody is quite sure where he stands.”

He has yet to unequivocally commit to policies, but early signs suggest he is plotting a route back to the centre.

Be it stepping away from a hard 2030 net zero carbon target, refusing to call for an extension to the Brexit transition period or toughening the party’s stance on China, the signals are that Starmer will opt for the middle ground.

“Right now, it’s about three things: ‘competence, competence, competence’,” said one insider.

They added: “Keir will actually read the brief and think about what we are doing and, almost to a fault, he doesn’t wing it.”

Labour is inviting the public to contrast “forensic” Starmer with “bumbling” Boris Johnson - and there is evidence that strategy is working.

Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer holds an online phone-in with residents in Glasgow, as part of his 'Call Keir' series 
Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer holds an online phone-in with residents in Glasgow, as part of his 'Call Keir' series

Starmer is beating Johnson in most polls for ‘best PM’ and has the best ratings of any opposition leader since Tony Blair in 1994.

But given the only way was up for Labour are things really getting better? Or is it a...

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