Is Keir Starmer any good? Don’t ask Londoners

Queen Mary University of London

Keir Starmer recently celebrated his first year as leader of the Labour party. His critics believe the party is failing to advance very far under Starmer’s influence.

Writing in the New Statesman, the political philosopher John Gray claimed that the Labour leader epitomises the contemporary party’s fundamental weaknesses and characterised Starmer as a cosmopolitan liberal lawyer out of touch with the sentiments of non-metropolitan England. This is underlined by his previous support for a second referendum on European Union (EU) membership.

Meanwhile, many on the party’s left insist that Starmer is jettisoning the very economic policies that allowed Labour to project a renewed radicalism, coming close to winning the 2017 general election. There also appears to be a frustration at Labour’s apparent inability to provide a more potent challenge to the ruling Conservative party. And that is perhaps inevitably being directed at Starmer himself.

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