Behind the scenes, Labour MPs are losing faith in Keir Starmer | Owen Jones

Behind the scenes, Labour MPs are losing faith in Keir Starmer | Owen Jones

The Guardian

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Ahead of a crucial byelection, discontent with the Labour leader’s cautious approach is spreading to all wings of the party

During his punt for the top job, Keir Starmer named Harold Wilson as the Labour leader he most admired, and his predecessor’s advice remains apt. “The Labour party is like a stagecoach,” Wilson once observed. “If you rattle along at great speed everybody is too exhilarated or seasick to cause any trouble. But if you stop everybody gets out and argues about where to go next.”

A recent poll suggesting Labour could lose next month’s Hartlepool byelection sent tremors through the party. Defeat would further cement the Tories’ authoritarian populist grip on the country – but remains unlikely: constituency polling is notoriously unreliable, Labour’s get out the vote operation gives it a formidable edge, and the government has only taken a seat from its opponents twice in the past half century. But Labour’s current malaise is real and keenly felt among its parliamentarians.

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