Keir Starmer crucified for 14,000-word essay gaffe: ‘Don’t think miners will read this!’

Keir Starmer grilled by Beth Rigby over Labour’s tax stance

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The MP for Hemsworth in Yorkshire, was speaking after reports suggested the Labour leader had penned the weighty document during his summer tour, in advance of the party’s conference, which gets under way on September 25. Sir Keir has been vocal about wanting to reconnect with the party’s grass roots, and the need to woo voters in the so-called Red Wall who deserted Labour for the Tories in 2019.

I don’t think the ex-miners at the miners’ welfare club in my area are going to be reading 14,000 words

Jon Trickett

However, Mr Trickett, a key ally of Sir Keir’s predecessor as leader Jeremy Corbyn was unimpressed.

He told the Telegraph: “I don’t think the ex-miners at the miners’ welfare club in my area are going to be reading 14,000 words.

“And I don’t think many people in the country are, to be honest.”

He added: “The former Labour voters who went to the Tories or to Brexit won’t be studying a 14,000-word article.

“They are looking for concrete, punchy opposition to the Government, and they’re looking for a clear policy.”

In the course of the document, Express.co.uk understands Sir Keir will once again seek to reset his leadership after a shaky start following his election last year.

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He will also address questions from the party’s rank and file about what Labour stands for – although it will not include any specific policies.

Backbench Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “If he is going to lay out his ideological vision and where we’re going and what will underpin that, then I would say: ‘Hallelujah!’

“We have seen none of that whatsoever so far.

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“The navel-gazing in terms of factional warfare and petty politics and bullying has come from his so-called supporters.”

A source close to Sir Keir told the Sunday Times while there would be similarities with the speech the MP for Holborn and St Pancras intends to give at the conference, it would be an “intellectualised version”.

Another insider added: “Starmer wrote the essay while he was on his summer tour and meeting voters the party lost at the last general election.

“It’s about where we are now as a party and where we are going.

“It’s about turning the page and ending the navel-gazing.”

There was also plenty of scepticism among posters to the #keirstarmer hashtag.

Ben Fuller tweeted: “Opposing the three-word slogan machine of #Boris & Vote Leave not sure a 14k word ‘intellectual version’ of his Conference speech is what #KeirStarmer needs.”

Josephine Formby said: “I read that Keir Starmer is writing a 14,000 word opus essay to his members setting out his beliefs.

“Sounds typically punchy and compelling.”

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