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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Labour backtracking on constitutional reform already

They haven't even written their manifesto yet and already the Labour Party is backing down on its key promises.

The Sunday Times reports that Labour’s proposals to abolish the House of Lords are set to be watered down after an eleventh-hour row between Gordon Brown and Sir Keir Starmer’s advisers.

The paper says that following controversy over Boris Johnson's resignation honours list, Starmer told Labour peers of plans for a consultation on abolishing the Lords in favour of a directly elected body. However that pledge has now been weakened, with party sources stressing that Labour will commit itself to merely consulting on “reform” of the Lords:

The rhetorical shift follows what sources familiar with Brown’s thinking described as a “minute to midnight” dispute over which policies to emphasise on Monday. Starmer and Brown will share a platform in Leeds and together briefed the shadow cabinet on the report yesterday, to what sources insisted was a positive reception.

Some in Starmer’s inner circle fear that Lords reform will detract from the party’s core economic agenda. “Gordon is insisting Keir endorse it all, and wants a headline about Lords abolition,” a source said. “But the leadership don’t.”

Once more we are reduced to asking, 'what is the point of Keir Starmer?'
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