Dr Richard Johnson claimed that Sir Keir Starmer had won the 2020 election to become the leader of the Labour Party by presenting himself as a continuity of Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader. But he noted a change, suggesting the Labour Party leader was now being advised a more cautious approach similar to Tony Blair’s would help him win the next general election. Dr Richard Johnson then went on to explain that the 1990s were a different financial climate compared to now as discussed how the Labour Party were 20 points ahead in the polls then.
Dr Richard Johnson told GB News: “I think the Starmer leadership has been defined by a kind of caution, which is quite interesting because when you think back to the leadership election in 2020, Starmer presented himself as continuity Corbyn.
“That he was just really going to be carrying on policies of Corbyn, the radical policies of Corbyn, but with a better way of presenting them.
“And of course really, just as soon as he got those from the Labour members to become leader, he’s really abandoned that outlook.
“In many ways concern, one might have about the Starmer leadership is that he’s operating under a kind of orthodoxy about the political strategy that was accurate for the context of the 1990s.”
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Dr Johnson continued: “When Labour was indeed 20 points ahead in the polls, Tony Blair inherited a Labour Party from John Smith that had a double-digit poll lead.
“And the economic conditions of the 1990s were very different as well, it was a time of growing prosperity, certainly as the decade wore on.
“You know one thing that I note is that when Blair was elected, it was only 15 years since the winter of discontent, it was about the same time as between now and the financial crisis.
“So I think Starmer has been advised by people who perhaps think well, the way that Labour wins is by repeating the kind of caution that defines the Blair leadership in the lead up to 1997.
“But I’m afraid that the political and economic context for today, is so different that I don’t think that is a winning strategy. “
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Leadership candidate Liz Truss said: “I’m not complacent at all. I am going to be working very hard over the next six weeks to put my case to Conservative Party members.
“What I believe is that lowering taxes and opening up opportunities are going to help us deliver the economic growth that Britain needs.
“It is also going to help us deliver the next [general] election.
“I can win against Keir Starmer in 2024. That’s my message to Party members right across the country.”