Great Britain

Knew it! Keir Starmer calls for Labour to follow Blair's legacy in desperate election bid

Keir Starmer has 'moral principles of a jellyfish' says Galloway

Sir Keir has had a rocky start to his first year as Labour leader after taking over from Jeremy Corbyn following his dismal result in the 2019 election. Labour saw its worst result since 1935 after Boris Johnson seized many Red Wall seats in the north and won the vote by a huge majority of 80. Sir Keir has now acknowledged he has a battle on his hands to win back his party's popularity among the British public, particularly as Labour has lost four general elections in a row since 2010.

He revealed his new strategy is for the party to recapture the glory years of when Tony Blair took the helm in the late 1990s.

In 1997, he saw a historic Labour landslide with a majority of 179.

Sir Keir said the party should be “very proud” of what it achieved under Mr Blair, despite his controversies with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He told the FT: “We have to be proud of that record in government and not be arm’s length or distant about it."

Sir Keir Starmer has called for the Labour Party to follow former Prime Minister Tony Blair's legacy

Sir Keir Starmer has called for the Labour Party to follow former Prime Minister Tony Blair's legacy (Image: GETTY)

He added his one vision now is "to win the next election”, which is due in May 2022.

Sir Keir's leadership has scrutinised by some members on the left of the party since he took over from Mr Corbyn in April last year.

He has come under fire for the party appearing to trying to diffuse disputes within Labour, rather than opposing the Conservatives,

But Sir Keir added: "We have to turn the Labour Party inside out and that's what we've been doing for the last 18 months.

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Tony Blair saw a historic Labour landslide with a majority of 179

Tony Blair saw a historic Labour landslide with a majority of 179 (Image: GETTY)

"Too many of our members and supporters think winning an internal argument in the Labour party is changing the world - it isn't. We've got to get real."

Labour also suffered a setback when the Tories took the former Labour heartland of Hartlepool in a by-election in May.

But there was a small glimmer of hope for the party after the victory of Kim Leadbeater in Batley and Spen, in Yorkshire, in July.

Sir Keir said: "Under our current system if you want a Labour government you have to vote Labour."

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Labour saw its worst result since 1935 after Boris Johnson seized many Red Wall seats

Labour saw its worst result since 1935 after Boris Johnson seized many Red Wall seats (Image: EXPRESS)

However, Sir Keir may still have a long way to go after an Ipsos MORI survey for the Standard last month showed half of voters felt he was "doing a bad job" as leader.

The poll showed 59 percent of voters thought he did a “bad job” at setting out a clear alternative to the Government, with just 18 percent saying a “good job”.

Keiran Pedley, director of politics for Ipsos MORI, said: “Labour’s narrow victory in Batley and Spen could prove a political lifeline for Keir Starmer in the short-term.

Labour also suffered a setback when the Tories took the former Labour heartland of Hartlepool this year

Labour also suffered a setback when the Tories took the former Labour heartland of Hartlepool this year (Image: GETTY)

"However, his scores are still much lower than at the start of his leadership, and don’t stand out as very good historically.

"He has plenty of work to do to genuinely turn things around, rather than just stop the rot.”

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