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P
Pa
February 22, 2021

Labour movement is ‘very patriotic’: Starmer

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P
Pa
February 22, 2021

LONDON: Sir Keir Starmer said he is “very comfortable” with displaying his patriotism and warned that “competence” on its own will not be enough for Labour to win the next general election.

The Labour leader said he is on a “four-year journey” to turn around the “worst loss since 1935” as he faced questions about why the party is still trailing in the polls despite the government’s record during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Keir would not say whether he views himself as “woke” but said he is a “values-led person”.

The Labour leader has endured a rocky ride in recent weeks, with the leak of a strategy document suggesting the party must demonstrate its patriotism in order to attract voters, criticism from former allies, and a simmering row with supporters of predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.

Asked what he stands for, Sir Keir told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “A driving determination to root out inequality and insecurity in our country, in our society and in our economy, and to build a better future for Britain.

“Yes, I’m patriotic – that was one of the issues that was in this report that was leaked – of course I’m patriotic. I want to be prime minister of this country because I want this country to be even better than it is now.

“Actually, the whole Labour movement is very patriotic, we are in politics to change our country for the better, you can’t be more patriotic than that, and I’m very, very comfortable with it.”

Sir Keir said he has shifted the party from facing questions over its survival to whether it will be able to form the next government. “That tells you how far we’ve come,” he said.

“Did I think this was a one-year project that we could turn around the worst loss since 1935 in 12 months? No, I didn’t. Do I think competence is enough? No, I don’t. Do I think it’s a four-year journey? Yes, I do.”