On April 4, Sir Keir Starmer, a former human rights lawyer, took over from Jeremy Corbyn as the new leader of the Labour Party. He made his first debut at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and was widely praised by both allies and opponents. Jeremy Corbyn, his predecessor, was often criticised by MPs for failing to use the weekly sessions to hold the Prime Minister to account.
The veteran left-winger frequently used crowdsourced questions and stuck to a script to produce clippable exchanges targeted at social media.
Sir Keir, though, went back to using a more rigorous approach that focused on topics dominating the news agenda – for example, he questioned the Government over its struggles with testing for coronavirus and sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health service.
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former director of communications, said this week: “Every question so far from Keir Starmer spot on.
“Right issues, right tone, right mix of empathy and detail, and right balance of support for government objectives but determination to hold them to account.”
The debut was praised by some political opponents, as well. George Osborne, the former Conservative chancellor, tweeted: “Watching PMQs there’s one clear conclusion: after a five-year absence, Britain has an opposition again.”
As many Labour supporters wonder whether he will be able to restore the party’s electability, a spokesman for the Criminal Bar Association (CBA) may have revealed Sir Keir’s two aces up his sleeve: the new Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy and Shadow Attorney General Lord Charles Falconer.
When asked about his victory, the spokesman told Express.co.uk that it was looking forward to continuing its cross party engagement on matters relating to the Criminal Justice system with Sir Keir.
The spokesman said: “Currently it is too early to make any judgement on the quality of Sir Keir’s leadership.
“But it is reassuring for parliamentary democracy and the rule of law that he is already built around him a strength in depth across key Shadow Cabinet justice and wider constitutional advisory positions.”
JUST IN: Italy’s MEP sheds light on Germany’s ‘diabolical EU plan’
He added: “While Sir Keir is known and respected personally and professionally by many across the legal profession given his time in office as director of public prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service, and before that in private practice at the Bar for matters of wider public law interest, it is notable that his two Shadow ministers, David Lammy as Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, and Lord Falconer as shadow Attorney General, are qualified barristers also steeped in practice as lawyers and who additionally can provide the leader of the opposition with their front line experience as former ministers in government.”
Mr Lammy and Lord Falconer’s appointments also signal the ascent of the soft left in the party, at the expense of the Mr Corbyn-supporting hard left who had dominated since 2015.
Lord Falconer became the Lord Chancellor and the first Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs in 2003 under then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, and would go on to become the first Secretary of State for Justice in a 2007 reorganisation and enlargement of the portfolio of the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
Mr Lammy also served as a minister under Mr Blair and Gordon Brown.
Why Boris Johnson finally has upper hand in EU trade talks [ANALYSIS]
Vote Leave insider pinpoints when Britain will secure FTA with EU [EXCLUSIVE]
Queen’s humiliating snub to George W Bush exposed [INSIGHT]
According to a senior practising barrister Sir Keir is indeed modelling his policies around Mr Blair.
The senior barrister, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Express.co.uk: “As a politician, personally, I see his demeanour and to an extent his politics as very New Labour, not that he nor his allies would want him to be seen as New Labour but centrist yes.
“He will plug his socialist credentials as he has to and there is no doubt he is sincere on his social values and commitment to public services but you can see he has modelled aspects of his delivery, his style on Tony Blair – just without the messianic demeanour.”
Source: Read Full Article