Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Tony Blair’s speech on the lessons from Labour’s defeat.
This is what political journalists and commentators are saying about what has effectively been the soft launch of his leadership campaign, with his Guardian interview yesterday and his Today interview this morning. He is certainly not winning universal approval.
From my colleague Rafael Behr
Starmer here struggling to sound urgent about need for change without speaking ill of JC. This mulchy ‘still radical, different radical, Labour values!’ pitch will be crowded terrain in leadership contest. https://t.co/iykOmU9rc5
“Radical” is now so overused and abused as to be virtually meaningless … Starmer will need to do a lot better than this https://t.co/f9UcpD9IBp
Starmer’s leftish tone here suggests he understands where the Labour membership are (which many did not in early stages of 2015). https://t.co/iDK6fMZQyr
I don’t know if it will work, but Keir Starmer’s leadership roll-out is incredibly well done. All that and more in today’s Morning Call: https://t.co/1LpOl5fjff
Not convinced that rehashing the line ‘the problem was not the menu but the maitre’d’ will work for Keir Starmerhttps://t.co/Pre9F87Bsi
A very definite pitch to the left-leaning Labour membership. Starmer – irrespective of being a North London male – polls well among them. But will he at some point have to be more bold? https://t.co/pZrYgUbPcy
Starmer’s status as remainer in chief is his biggest problem. Nonetheless Johnson did him and all the candidates a favour by winning so big. Had it been small maj Brexit could have remained a live issue/even pressure to lead rejoin. That won’t happen now. They can leave it alone.
The Labour leadership contest is at risk of turning into Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch. Keir Starmer says before he went to university “I’d never been in an office”. #r4today
People keep saying Rebecca Long-Bailey is continuity Corbyn. The problem – as Keir Starmer is making clear – is that in reality they’re all continuity Corbyn.
I will post more from the Blair speech, Q&A and report soon, but first here is a summary of the main points Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary and a Labour leadership candidate, was making in his interview on the Today programme.
Brexit did, of course, come up on the doorstep. What really came up was this slogan ‘get Brexit done’.And we didn’t knock it back, we didn’t knock it down and neutralise it hard enough, because it clearly wasn’t going to happen …
What resonated on the doors was this phrase ‘Get Brexit done’ and we did not knock that flat.And we should have done, and I would have liked the chance to have knocked it flat, because that was what was cutting through. People thought ‘Well, if I vote Conservative, I’m getting it done’.
Well, the strategists decided that it would be far better if, as it were, Leave voices were out there. That’s fine. I didn’t complain then and I’m not complaining now.
We need to reflect, but what we shouldn’t do is now oversteer.
And I’ve seen organisations and political parties do this so many times.
What Jeremy Corbyn brought to the Labour party in 2015 was a change in emphasis that was really important, a radicalism that matters, and the rejection of anti-austerity. And we need to build on that, rather than simply say ‘Well, let’s now oversteer and go back to some bygone age’.
What I’m saying is that the desperate needs of millions of people for change – people in poverty, people who are homeless – the moral case for change is still there, just as it was last Thursday.
And it’s only going to be met by a radical Labour government. The case for a radical government has never been stronger.
Everybody who’s listened to me in the last three or four years knows exactly what I think.
And I’ve said this before – I don’t need somebody else’s name tattooed to my head, some past leader, in order to identify and make decisions.
We put too much in the manifesto, you couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It was really good stuff in there.
And we carried, I think, too much baggage into the election, and antisemitism is an example of that because it was about values and about competence.
I think we need to reflect. There are people who say ‘well it’s the media’. The media was hostile but it’s been hostile in the past and it’ll probably be hostile in the future, so we can’t rest there.
As for the sort of middle-class thrust, as you know, my dad worked in a factory, he was a toolmaker, and my mum was a nurse, and she contracted a very rare disease early in her life that meant she was constantly in need of NHS care.
So, actually, my background isn’t what people think it is. I know what it’s like. I actually never had been in any workplace other than a factory until I left home for university. I’d never been in an office.