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Keir Starmer puts on brave face over election losses

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A beleaguered Keir Starmer now faces a potential revolt from inside his own party

Labor leader, Keir Starmer, has taken a philosophical view of his party’s election defeats by telling the shadow cabinet that the losses represent “the size of the journey we have to go”.

Among Labor’s worst performances in local and national elections was losing the Hartlepool by-election to the Tories, which represents the first time the north-western English constituency has changed hands for more than 50 years.

Addressing his reshuffled cabinet for the first time since the elections, Starmer proclaimed: “To be clear, I take responsibility. Nobody else”. 

"I lead the Labor Party and it is entirely on me", Starmer added.

Labor’s defeat and Starmer’s consistently weak leadership has touched off rumors about a potentially imminent leadership challenge.

All eyes are currently fixed on re-elected Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, who secured 67.3 percent of the vote in his re-election bid, four percentage points more than four years ago.

Burnham has refused to rule out a challenge and earlier today he told Sky News that the Labor Party should “get in touch” if it were “ever to feel it needed me”.

By contrast, former Labor Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has leapt to Starmer’s defense by telling Sky News that Labor “has to give him a chance”.

"Starmer wants to go for change, he wants to make the Labor Party face up to all the problems that this country faces and have solutions to them, and we've got to give him the space, the power and support to make these changes that are necessary", Brown, who was UK PM between 2007 and 2010, added.


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