Keir Starmer seizes on Tory 'psychodrama' over Rwanda 'gimmick'
Keir Starmer seizes on Tory ‘psychodrama’ over Rwanda ‘gimmick’ as he makes another bid to distance himself from Labour’s disastrous Corbyn era
Sir Keir Starmer today blasted Tory ‘psychodrama’ over the Rwanda plan and claimed Britain was being left ‘ungoverned’ while Conservatives ‘fight like rats in a sack’.
The Labour leader seized on the huge divisions within the Tories over Rishi Sunak’s latest effort to send asylum seekers to the African country.
In a direct pitch to disgruntled Conservative voters, Sir Keir sought to compare his focus on the ‘mundane stuff’ of governing Britain to the latest Tory chaos.
He also continued his bid to try and reassure voters that Labour had changed since the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Keir, who has branded the Rwanda plan a ‘gimmick’, delivered a speech in Buckinghamshire on the fourth anniversary of the 2019 general election.
That contest saw Labour lose swathes of seats in the traditional heartlands as the party, under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, suffered their worst defeat since the 1930s.
Sir Keir Starmerblasted Tory ‘psychodrama’ over the Rwanda plan and claimed Britain was being left ‘ungoverned’ while Conservatives ‘fight like rats in a sack’
Sir Keir, who has branded the Rwanda plan a ‘gimmick’, delivered a speech in Buckinghamshire on the fourth anniversary of the 2019 general election
Reflecting on Labour’s loss in 2019, Sir Keir said: ‘Working people up and down our country looked at my party, looked at the journey we’d been on – not just under Jeremy Corbyn, but for a while. And they said “no”.
‘We’d taken a leave of absence from our job description. Reneged on an old partnership – the Labour bargain that we serve working people – as they drive our country forward.
‘Everything I’ve done as leader, every fight I’ve had, has been to reconnect us to that purpose.
‘If you want a government committed to economic stability, the rule of law, good public services, restoring Britain’s standing, making family life more secure and putting the country first, this is what a changed Labour Party will deliver.’
Sir Keir attacked the ‘circus’ in Westminster as the Prime Minister scrambles to win support among Tory MPs for his Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.
The emergency legislation has been drafted by Mr Sunak as an attempt to get past the Supreme Court’s block on plans to send asylum seekers to Africa.
But Tory right-wingers have urged the PM to ‘pull the Bill’ and come up with ‘completely new legislation’ amid their concern it isn’t tough enough to avoid future legal challenges.
Commenting on the latest Tory infighting, which has been compared to the party’s deep divisions over Brexit, Sir Keir said: ‘We’re all stuck in their psychodrama, all being dragged down to their level.’
‘While they’re all swanning around self-importantly with their factions and their “Star Chambers”, fighting like rats in a sack, there’s a country out here that isn’t being governed.’
The Labour leader warned those who previously voted Conservative that the change to the country would come ‘from a Tory fifth term’.
‘It’s about doing the basics better. The mundane stuff. The bureaucratic stuff,’ he added.
‘Busting the backlogs, rebuilding a functioning asylum system, removing people more quickly so you don’t have to run up hotel bills, and cross-border police force that can smash the smuggler gangs at source.’
In a series of TV and radio interviews this morning ahead of his speech, Sir Keir confirmed Labour would cancel the Rwanda plan if they win the general election.
He dismissed the scheme as a ‘gimmick’ and piece of political ‘performance art’.
Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast that Labour would use the money ‘being wasted on the Rwanda scheme’ to step up cross-border policing to tackle human trafficking gangs.
‘What I wouldn’t do, and what I won’t vote for, is £290 million spent on a gimmick that is the Rwanda scheme, that won’t work, at the very most will take about 100 people,’ he said.
‘We’ve got 160,000 people waiting for their asylum claims to be processed, so it’s a drop in the ocean.
‘It costs a fortune and, as we learnt from the Prime Minister when he finally admitted it last week, the deal be struck will also involve Rwanda sending their refugees across to the United Kingdom.
‘It’s a gimmick, it won’t work, it is performance art. What I would do is do the more mundane, sleeves-rolled-up, practical work to stop this vile trade in the first place.’
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