Laura Kuenssberg has predicted a furious civil war erupting in the Labour Party across this weekend. Sir Keir Starmer is grappling to maintain control over the party amid a furious backlash over Friday’s election results. One former NEC member – the party’s ruling body – even told Ms Kuenssberg that the Labour leader “had to go” immediately.
The BBC News’ political editor said: “Labour are already facing criticism, as you would expect, from the left of the party.
“John McDonnell has said the candidate in Hartlepool had no argument, he was naked.
“The campaigning group Momentum have said it is a disaster and there needs to be a change of tack.
“I think the leader’s office, however, is going to go the other way and more aggressively use this to make the case for change and sticking to the centre, rather than accommodating the left like he did during his party leadership race.”
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Ms Kuenssberg continued: “But change to what?
“Even Starmer’s allies privately admit that they haven’t done a good job of articulating precisely and compellingly what the reason is to vote for Labour again.
“We can predict some days of strife for the Labour leader.
“One former member of the NEC – the party’s ruling body – told me this morning that Keir Starmer should go.
“I don’t think it will go that far but they have to come out punching here.”
“Disappointing results overnight: we can’t just double down, we need to reflect how to demonstrate our values better and connect with people – more Olympic opening ceremony, proud of our history warts and all and less Brittas Empire tribute act.
“If Keir wants to be a “British Biden” he should learn from USA Democrats, where policies united the party, the left was brought into top table not pilloried, reforming policies are presented as common sense and Uncle Joe speaks for woke liberals and blue-collar left at same time.”
However, on the side, Lord Mandelson, a key architect of New Labour, suggested that Jeremy Corbyn was still to blame.
He told the BBC: “Corbyn is still casting a very dark cloud over Labour. Labour voters are not letting this off lightly, he still gets them going on the doorstep.”