We’re turning the Labour Party around, Sir Keir Starmer says

Labour Party shadow cabinet reshuffle
Labour Party shadow cabinet reshuffle (PA Wire)
18:56pm, Tue 01 Jun 2021
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Sir Keir Starmer believes he is “turning the party around” as he said Labour needed to stop looking inwards to make inroads to electoral success.

Speaking to Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on ITV, the Labour leader was presented with the analysis of former prime minister Tony Blair, who said the party needed a “total deconstruction and reconstruction”.

And asked by Morgan whether that was advice he needed to listen to, in a clip released ahead of the full programme on Tuesday, Sir Keir said: “Yes.

“The biggest change we need to make is a Labour Party that stops looking in on itself and looks out to the electorate, to the voters.

“I’m going to go and talk across the country this summer to people who are no longer voting Labour and hear for myself what they have to say and show that reconnection.”

Sir Keir said the three things which would describe a Britain under his leadership would be “pride in our country, dignity… dignity for children growing up, dignity at work, and change”.

And he said already he was proud of his work to rid anti-Semitism from the party.

“We had to make changes, so on things like anti-Semitism, it was really important to me and to the party, I think, to the country that we dealt with anti-Semitism,” he said.

“We’ve begun to do that, taken some really, really important steps. We’re turning the party around.”

In a second clip released ahead of the interview, he spoke about taking time out from his leadership campaign early last year to support his wife Victoria, suggesting it was an example of him putting his family before politics.

Asked whether he was a romantic, Sir Keir said: “I think probably yes.

“You can buy flowers on someone’s birthday, you can do (that) on the traditional occasions, etcetera etcetera. That is good. That is fantastic. And so you should, and you’re not going to be forgiven if you don’t.

“What matters is are you there when that person absolutely needs you? So, when Vic has needed me, I’ve tried to be there.”

In January 2020, Sir Keir cancelled leadership campaigning after his wife’s mother fell down the stairs, and subsequently died.

“I took the decision to cancel the leadership campaigning and withdrew completely,” he said.

“I had to be there and try to do something I’d never done before which was to comfort someone who was going through grief.

“I’d done it, my mum had died, I’d been through my version of that grief, but to see your wife go through it is deep.

“That was hard, important, and for me that meant more than whether I bought flowers on this occasion or that occasion. The decision was obvious, I was never making a different decision. And Vic would do exactly the same for me.”

Piers Morgan’s Life Stories with Sir Keir Starmer airs on Tuesday at 9.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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