Labour Left angry as Keir Starmer brings back key Blairites
‘He’s Tony’s puppet!’: Labour Left angry as Keir Starmer brings back key Blairites with ex- Prime Minister’s speech writer co-writing the party’s next General Election manifesto
- Labour leader has been called ‘Tony Blair’s puppet’ by a senior left-wing MP
- The Mail on Sunday understands Blair is playing an active role the party’s agenda
- The Labour Party shot to a 33-point lead over the Tories in a poll earlier this week
Sir Keir Starmer was branded ‘Tony Blair’s puppet’ yesterday amid fury over key New Labour figures being right back at the heart of his drive to power.
The Mail on Sunday understands that Sir Tony Blair is playing an active role in drawing up Labour’s new agenda – especially its health policies.
Labour sources also said that Peter Hyman, who was the ex- Prime Minister’s speech writer, is co-writing the party’s next General Election manifesto.
The revelations come on top of Left-wingers’ fears that the so-called New Labour ‘Prince of Darkness’ Peter Mandelson is also intimately involved in the Starmer project.
Last night, one senior Left-wing MP said: ‘This confirms what we already knew – Starmer is just Tony Blair’s puppet.
‘Starmer stood on a Left-wing, Corbyn continuity platform but he’s ripping all that up to allow a New Labour makeover of the party.’
However, Starmer loyalists hit back last night by insisting Sir Keir was his own man and not in hock to Sir Tony or any previous leader.
Labour soared into a 33-point lead over the Tories last week – its highest since the Blair years in the 1990s
Sir Tony has been advising Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting on how to reform the NHS, sources say
They also pointed out that Sir Keir himself said last week that he was comfortable with his party being closer to Sir Tony than Left-wing predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour soared into a 33-point lead over the Tories last week – its highest since the Blair years in the 1990s – after its annual party conference.
Sources at the four-day rally in Liverpool disclosed that Sir Tony has been advising Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting on key policies on how to reform the NHS.
One source said: ‘Tony has been helpful, very helpful.’ But to make matters worse for Corbyn loyalists, key Starmer allies are privately advising him to capitalise on his current dominance over the party by ‘purging the Left’ before the next Election.
One said: ‘Whether we’re in a minority government or with a majority, we can’t have 20 or so hard-Left MPs holding us back and telling us what to do.’
The Starmer ally also called on Sir Keir to move against Momentum, the hard-Left grassroots organisation which backed Corbyn.
Labour sources said Peter Hyman, who was Blair’s speech writer, is co-writing the party’s next General Election manifesto
Some members of Sir Keir’s Shadow Cabinet privately believe that earlier this year, the party leader missed the opportunity to withdraw the whip from 11 Left-wing MPs who had signed a Stop The War letter criticising Nato over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Last night, party sources said former policy director Claire Ainsley was ‘leading on the manifesto’ while Mr Hyman was ‘providing general advice in the Leader’s office’.
Asked last week whether he was comfortable saying Labour was closer to the party of Sir Tony than to Mr Corbyn’s, Sir Keir said: ‘I certainly hope so, because Tony Blair won three Elections and I want us to win the next Election.’
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