Labour: Starmer's 'patriotic brand lacks authenticity' says expert
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Dr Ehsan has skewered the Labour leader’s attempt to revamp his party and woo “patriotic” voters in the pro-Brexit seats such as Hartlepool. Labour has been hoping to regain constituencies in the “Red Wall” which crumbled to Boris Johnson’s Conservative at the 2019 General Election. But Dr Ehsan believes Sir Keir Starmer’s rebrand “lacks authenticity” and insisted the Opposition leader faces a real battle on his hands to keep hold of the seat.
Discussing Labour’s “identity crisis” with radio host Mike Graham on TalkRADIO, he said: “I think here with Labour’s patriotic rebranding exercise it lacks authenticity.
“I think more broadly though there are real cultural competing tensions within the Labour party.
“How does it rebuild its ties with culturally conservative, patriotic voters in the pro-Brexit provinces and maintain the support of pro-EU, socially liberal, metropolitan city dwellers?
“I think that is a huge problem for the Labour Party.”
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He added: “So in that sense, I sympathise with Sir Keir Starmer but we had this discussion many times before Mike.
“One of Labour’s biggest challenges after the disastrous general election back in December 2019 was how can it rebuilt its trust in pro-Brexit working-class territory.
“Sir Kier Starmer, chief architect of the second referendum policy represents a north London seat that voted 72 percent remain.
“I could see these problems coming from a mile.”
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“I think the Hartlepool by-election is going to be a very serious test of his leadership.”
He added a loss in a long-time Labour stronghold would be “devasting” for Sir Keir.
The by-election was trigger after Hartlepool’s Labour MP Mike Hill stepped down from representing earlier this week after claims of sexual harassment, which he denies, emerged.
Labour has since selected former MP Dr Paul Williams as their candidate for the vacant seat.
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Dr Williams was ousted from Parliament in 2019 after representing the seat of Stockton South for just two year
Last night Dr Williams was officially announced as the Labour candidate, with the Hartlepool Constituency Labour Party describing him as “the standout choice”.
“We wanted a candidate in place early so we can use every day campaigning for Labour and put across our positive message,” they added.
Conservative party chair, Amanda Milling, said: “Labour’s candidate is a failed former MP who has already been rejected by the people of the North East.”
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