As Survation’s bombshell poll showing a 17-point Tory lead in Hartlepool percolates across Westminster, Keir Starmer took to the airwaves this morning to try and defend his leadership in the final stretch before polling day. A tough start to the week…
Asked by Nick Ferrari on LBC whether Labour’s attacks over the No.10 flat refurb were landing with voters in Hartlepool, Sir Keir said:
“I think it does come up, not the particulars, nobody’s interested in the particular details, but the general sense […] that there are now a sort of group of people towards top of government that feel that the rules don’t really apply to them, that is breaking through…”
Maybe not ‘breaking through‘ quite enough, though. Then on Good Morning Britain, Sir Keir struggled to explain smug his John Lewis photo op, claiming:
“Well, I’ll tell you what that was all about. It was about whether the Prime Minister is being straight. […] When I asked people in Hartlepool, whether they would know who had paid for the refurbishment of their own flat or house, they all answered yes and laughed at the idea that the Prime Minister says he doesn’t know, the Prime Minister is not being straight.
Starmer’s going in hard on expectation management, telling Today that any bad result will essentially be a legacy of Corbyn’s
“I don’t think anybody realistically thought that it was possible to turn the Labour Party round from the worst general election results since 1935 to a position to win the next general election within the period of one year”
No doubt any success will be resoundingly Starmer’s own doing however…