Starmer says Corbyn would have been ‘better PM’ than Boris Johnson

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Starmer says Corbyn would have been ‘better PM’ than Boris Johnson

During BBC's Question Time debate the Labour leader repeats his claim he knew his predecessor would lose 2019 election

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Keir Starmer on BBC QT
Keir Starmer on BBC QT

Labour leader Keir Starmer has said Jeremy Corbyn would have been a “better prime minister” than Boris Johnson, but has said he knew Corbyn would not win the election.

During a special edition of BBC’s Question Time, Starmer was pushed on previous comments about Corbyn, whom he eventually expelled from the Labour Party following his response to an antisemitism report.

During the 2019 election, Keir said Corbyn would make a “great prime minister” but thorough the current campaign has said he had been “certain” Labour would lose that election.

Asked why voters should trust now him, Starmer said Corbyn “would be a better prime minister” than “what we got – Boris Johnson, a man who made massive promises and didn’t keep them”.

On Friday, Labour’s shadow science minister Peter Kyle refused to discuss his verdict on Corbyn and Johnson.

He told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari: “Those were difficult days in our politics, and we each had to find our own way through it.

“But the key thing is in 2019, we had that general election, and the voters told us definitively. If you’re in politics, you’ve got to listen to voters. And they told us definitively that our party had to change. Keir Starmer led our party through that change. And he now has a party that’s fit for service because of the change.”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, also spoke out on why she previously said she was “absolutely gutted” to hear Corbyn had been suspended from the Labour Party.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Since then we’ve seen that Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t really acted in a way that would have been in keeping with the Labour Party.

“He’s now standing against the Labour Party so therefore he’s not a member of the Labour Party any more.”

Starmer was one of four political leaders taking turns being interrogated by a BBC audience in York, in a two-hour show presented by Fiona Bruce.

He was applauded after calling for an end to “toxicity” over the trans debate, and saying there must be respect for all human lives.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak was put under pressure to defended the Conservatives’ 14-year record and his pledge to introduce national service if he wins on 4 July.

He said he was “incredibly angry” at allegations that Tory insiders were betting on the election date, and promised to “boot out” anyone found to have broken rules.

Rishi Sunak on the BBC’s Question Time

On the NHS, he admitted “we haven’t made as much progress as I would’ve liked” on waiting list.

To some boos and cries of “shame”, Sunak also repeated his willingness to leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if it was a choice between national security and a “foreign court”.

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