Praise for Sir Keir Starmer from Sunderland Labour chief

Sir Keir Starmer has done a ‘very well’ so far as new leader of the opposition, but still needs time to settle into the role, according to Sunderland’s Labour Party chief.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 12:00 am
Sir Keir Starmer MP on a visit to Sunderland BIC.

The former top prosecutor formally replaced Jeremy Corbyn as head of the party at the beginning of April, roughly two weeks into the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown.

But despite the unprecedented situation facing the country, Graeme Miller, the leader of Sunderland City Council, thinks Starmer, an MP since 2015, has done ‘as we could have asked for’.

“The people don’t want to see party politics at the moment,” said Coun Miller.

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“We’re the opposition and we will work with the government, we’re doing it in a collegiate manner and I think Keir has done very well.

“It’s a major crisis which hasn’t given him the normal bedding in time, but I think we will see him grow into the role.

“He is very capable, he had a good first PMQs, asked some very good questions and I think that’s how he will do things.

“But we must give him time.”

Coun Miller raised the prospect of Starmer becoming Labour leader immediately after the party’s disastrous December 2019 election night.

Follow Sir Keir’s victory, the Sunderland council boss praised him as a ‘principled politician’ with a ‘tremendous track record’.

All three of Sunderland’s Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) nominated Starmer for leader, although just one, Washington and Sunderland West, opted for eventual winner of the deputy leadership contest, Angela Rayner.