Keir Starmer: Labour must move away from being a party of proteston July 31, 2022 at 11:51 am

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Sir Keir Starmer insists he supports the right to strike, but says Labour must secure power to help people.

Sir Keir StarmerImage source, PA Media

Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour must move away from being a “party of protest” in order to win elections and “hand power to working people”.

The Labour leader insisted he supports the right to strike, but that his focus is on getting into government.

He added that he “makes no apologies” for seeking to turn Labour into an election-winning party.

It comes after he was criticised over sacking a shadow minister who joined striking rail workers on a picket line.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Sir Keir said he completely understands “why people are going on strike to secure better pay and better conditions” and added that he supported their “right to do so”.

The Labour leader emphasised that he represented striking miners for free when he still worked as a lawyer, adding it was not just for “sentiment and a photo op” and that he backed his my words “with action”.

Sir Keir wrote: “I am now leading a Labour party that wants to change lives and give Britain the fresh start it needs.

“That means turning from a party of protest into a party that can win power – then hand that power to working people. I make no apologies for that.”

Unions and senior figures on Labour’s left have reacted angrily to the sacking of shadow transport minister Sam Tarry from shadow cabinet, with one senior Union leader describing the party as “becoming more and more irrelevant to ordinary working people”.

Mr Tarry himself has said he was expressing “solidarity” with workers when he attended the protest at London’s Euston station on Wednesday, despite Sir Keir telling frontbench MPs to stay away.

But Sir Keir has said Mr Tarry was sacked for doing interviews “without permission” and “making up policy on the hoof”, after he spoke to broadcasters from an RMT union picket line on Wednesday during last week’s rail strike.

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