Where has it gone wrong for Labour and Sir Keir Starmer? Telegraph readers have their say

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer leaves his north London home - Yui Mok /PA
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer leaves his north London home - Yui Mok /PA

A disastrous defeat in the Hartlepool by-election and the loss of more than 300 English council seats in last week's local elections has prompted an immediate reshuffle of Sir Keir Starmer's Labour team.

Despite the sudden reshuffle, there are warnings of a leadership challenge for the Labour leader, while others have suggested that Mr Starmer is the cause of Labour's crisis, not the solution.

Where has it gone wrong for Labour and can the party bounce back under Sir Keir Starmer's leadership? Read on for the best discussion points from our readers and share your own view in the comments section.

'Labour is so far removed from reality'

@Mark Chisholm:

"I'm from the North East. My family were miners, shipyard workers and factory workers. All solid Labour men with some being shop stewards.

"I work in the offshore construction industry - probably the last bastion of old fashioned male working environment with many of the men working in it from the shipyards and heavy welding firms of old. In my office right now is a bloke from Newcastle who is one of our welding inspectors.

"And none of them understand Labour anymore. Through gritted teeth admittedly they have all said they won't vote for them because they are no longer a party that represents the non London working class. The bloke with me voted Tory last time - the first in his life.

"Labour have allowed themselves to become the party of the woke student left. Working men and women look at these people who bang on about social justice with utter amazement at how far removed from reality they are. These normal people are angry at the way in which their party has been taken over by the radicals who look down upon the very people they are supposed to represent. Labour is the party for the well off Notting Hill media crowd, not the average worker trying to get by.

"The Tory party are simply more in tune with most people in the UK."

'No unified set of policies'

@Peter Williman:

"Unfortunately for them the Labour party cannot articulate a unified set of policies.

"It is split between woke irrelevance and out of date stances on 'workers' and people's realities, hopes and needs at this time."

'Starmer should have the skills to tear Boris apart'

@Andrew Turner:

"On paper, Starmer should have destroyed Boris, an ex-QC and the ex-Director of Public Prosecutions, he should have had the skills to set up traps in question time and tear Boris apart.

"The fact that he hasn't shows just how much pride Britain has in both Brexit and the vaccine rollout, how Britain is rejecting woke politicians and lastly how Boris has a Teflon skin that covers every inch of his body."

'Starmer is yesterday's man'

@Paul Hughes:

"For decades we have had politicians who had an easy life. A political career was easy money: Oxbridge, PPE or the law, political aides, a safe seat, back bench then front bench and when it was your turn, government.

"Suddenly though the country needs proper leadership and real bold decision making, the like of which we have not seen for decades.

"Brexit has changed everything, and Covid has demanded better from our politicians. The international political landscape is changing rapidly. Boris is learning fast, but Starmer was already yesterday’s man when he was elected leader of the Labour Party."

'No leader'

@Stuart Wilson:

"Starmer isn't a leader. He's a professional lawyer who is more interested in trying to trick Johnson at the dispatch box than doing anything to move the country forwards."

'The party as it is can hardly stay together'

@Nick Little:

"Anyone who doesn’t think Starmer is a massive part of Labour's problems and a symbol of the metropolitan, woke cult that they’ve become is deluding themselves. And unless they get their act together in the next few years, Labour will go the same way as the Liberals 90 years ago.

"The party as it is can hardly stay together, and if Starmer does actually stand up to the Corbynite mob a split is absolutely inevitable. As it is, not only are the North and the Midlands deserting Labour in droves, but the woke urban mob are making it perfectly plain that good old Keir can’t hold a torch to the fallen idol Corbyn.

"Starmer simply has nowhere to go now and is haemorrhaging support from all sides, with many Corbynites defecting to the Greens.

"With former Brexit Party voters shoring up the Tory vote in the North, what’s left of the red wall will soon be wiped out completely and the greens may well start making very significant inroads into Labour urban strongholds such as London, Bristol etc. I can easily see them plummeting to less than 150 seats at the next general election, unless something changes fast, with a Tory majority to rival Thatcher's in the 80s."

'Could have played it differently'

@Joseph Shand:

"I think Starmer has had the chance to be very significant during the pandemic, but chose to be malign.

"Labour could have played it differently. It has spent the entire lockdown prowling for ways to pounce, when it really was not the right thing to do. It does not seem to have done itself any good, but has had a great role in getting the government into such a defensive mode."

'Starmer hasn't got anywhere to go'

@Brian Corbett:

"Boris has firmly parked his tanks on Labour's lawn with policies that owe more to Blair than Thatcher. Starmer simply hasn't got anywhere to go apart from further to the left. And we've seen what the result of that is."

'The issues started before Starmer'

@Nicholas Mills:

"To suggest the problems of Labour are due to Starmer is wrong. It has become the party of divisive identity politics way before Starmer arrived.

"This nasty Labour has been around a fair few years. They showed contempt to the working class as uneducated and bigoted prior to Brexit. They’ve hated English nationalism for several decades at least.

"The mistake they made was placing a supposed moderate to lead the party."

'Lose Starmer'

@Paul Driscoll:

"For me, Labour was deeply affected by Brexit following the betrayal of their Labour MPs who, despite being in constituencies that wanted to leave, still did all they could in their power to stop that democratic vote.

"If Labour wants to truly survive, then lose Starmer and pick someone not seen as one of the architects as the Brexit betrayal and then build on the radical bold manifesto that served Labour so well."

'Ordinary people would rather go for a pint with Boris'

@M Hunt:

"My dad once told me the PM should be a bloke, or woman, who you would like to go for a pint with, but also like to stick up for and represent your country.

"I think a lot of ordinary people would much rather go for a pint with Boris, and would much rather have him sticking up for Britain, something Starmer and Labour have not done for four or five decades."

'They are politically illiterate'

@Susan Kennedy:

"Labour is finished and therefore anything Starmer does is just rearranging the furniture on the Titanic.

"They can't be trusted. I mean who would think to put up a Remainer candidate in a leave voting constituency. They are politically illiterate."

Where has it gone wrong for Labour and Sir Keir Starmer? Have your say in the comments section below.
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