Keir Starmer skewered over U-turns on key leadership pledges

Keir Starmer discusses Brexit and a second referendum

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Sir Keir Starmer has faced the wrath of Tory MPs following a series of U-turns on leadership pledges. The Labour leader yesterday refused to stand by his promise to abolish tuition fees, despite backing the policy when he ran to replace Jeremy Corbyn in 2020, citing the battered economy.

It comes after previous U-turns on bringing back EU free movement and the NHS using private sector capacity.

Conservative MPs today criticised Sir Keir over the backtracking from his leadership pledges.

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis told Express.co.uk: “What Keir Starmer wants to try and do is pretend be all things to all people.

“He has no actual policy, no plan, just simply trying to play party politics.

“And the voters will suss that out as we get nearer to an election and they start to ask what a Labour government will look like and at the moment it looks nothing more than a blank piece of paper.”

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi branded Sir Keir “Captain Flip Flop”.

He added: “He completely U-turns on his messages and pledges to get himself elected. People aren’t stupid, they will see through him.”

And Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy tweeted: “Everything he said to get elected Labour leader he’s junked. Why would we believe what he says to get elected to government?”

Sir Keir hinted he would ditch his vow to scrap £9,250-a-year university tuition fees during a grilling on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.

He said: “I think the tuition fees system needs to be changed, I don’t think it’s working.

“But looking at the damage that’s been done to the economy… we will only make commitments that we can afford at the next general election so we need to look at that promise again.”

His refusal to commit to the policy comes after a string of U-turns including on Brexit.

The Labour leader, who campaigned for Remain, has recently toughened his stance on the UK’s exit from the EU in an apparent bid to win back Red Wall voters lost to the Tories in 2019.

Last November he ruled out bringing back free movement of people between Britain and the EU despite supporting the policy three years ago.

And earlier this month, he urged for the use of the private sector to help tackle eye-watering NHS waiting lists. But he had pledged to “end outsourcing” during his campaign to be Labour leader.

Labour has been contacted for comment.

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