Andrew Marr: Expert on Keir Starmer's struggle in polls
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The Holborn and St Pancras MP’s leadership has been called into question over the past 10 days after a series of gaffes and poor polling numbers. Questions are now being raised by those both in Labour and the Conservative Party as to whether he will still be in the job when the country next goes to the polls.
Earlier this week, Express.co.uk reported Corbynites on the Left of the party are readying themselves for a leadership challenge if Sir Keir’s polling numbers don’t improve.
And No10 is also preparing for the possibility the current leader is ousted from his position before 2024.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is one name Tories are bracing to have another run for Labour leader.
A Downing Street insider told Politico: “We have to be prepared for every eventuality and it’s not impossible it’s Burnham rather than Starmer in 2024.
“We have to be ready to face someone else as Labour leader, and Burnham would be a different challenge.”
The Greater Manchester Mayor has twice run unsuccessfully to be party leader.
However, despite his previous performances, he admitted last week he wanted to have another go at challenging for the top job.
Speaking at a Jewish charity event over the weekend about his desire to still be Labour leader, he said: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have aspirations.
“One day, if it became possible, but I’m not sitting here plotting a way to do so.
“I wouldn’t say never.”
The strategic planning from the Tories comes after polls indicated the Opposition was still lagging behind Boris Johnson’s party.
An Ipsos MORI poll earlier this week found the Conservatives have pulled four points ahead of Labour, with 42 percent saying they would vote for the Government compared to 38 for Sir Keir’s party.
Last Wednesday the Opposition leader also was forced to embarrassingly apologise after wrongly claiming he had never called for the UK to remain in the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after Brexit.
Brussels has suffered from a sluggish rollout of its vaccination scheme and the EMA did not approve Covid jabs for use until three weeks after the UK.
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The Labour leader said he had never suggested the UK should remain a part of the EMA despite making the demand on multiple occasions in House of Commons debates in 2017.
On Monday, Sir Keir admitted Labour has a “mountain to climb” if it is to have a hope of winning the next general election.
“We’ve got a long way to go between now and 2024 and we’re going to be working hard at this with real determination, every day, every week, every month, every year, into that election in 2024,” he said.
The Labour leader added: “The vast majority of our party and our movement are behind what we’re doing.”
Keir Starmer labelled 'temporary scenario' by Labour activist
But earlier this week, Express.co.uk revealed some members of the party are already organising a “ruthless” campaign to oust Sir Keir.
Ronan Burtenshaw from the socialist magazine Tribune told the meeting Corbynites should “organise” and prepare “in expectation of a time that’s going to come when the leadership’s really hollow politics are going to be exposed, and we’re going to need a different voice” to lead the party.
The Labour activist said a drop in Sir Keir’s polling would “leave an opening” for those on the Left of the party.
Mish Rahman, chair of the Aldridge-Brownhills Constituency Labour Party in Walsall and member of the party’s NEC, said the Left of the party should find a candidate for “the next time the Left needs a leader for a leadership challenge”.
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