BBC host grills Anneliese Dodds on Keir Starmer’s speech
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The BBC Today Programme host tried to pin down the Keir Starmer-ally on his comments attacking the Conservatives ahead of a major speech expected for Thursday. Anneliese Dodds squirmed as Nick Robinson grilled the shadow chancellor over Sir Keir’s suggestion there should not be a “return to business as usual.” It comes as Labour’s struggling leader this month hit a popularity slump after enjoying almost a year of rising ratings.
Nick Robinson asked: “I want to be clear what you, what your leader are saying when you talk of a failed Tory ideology.
“Are you saying that is one reason for Britains record death toll in this crisis?”
Ms Dodds responded: “Well as you’d expect I have, particularly as Shadow Chancellor, been focused on the economic side.
“As well as having those record horrible figures around the public health impact which we should never forget…”
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“But if you wouldn’t mind,” interrupted the radio host.
“This is a big speech by the leader that you are here to talk about. So I want to ask you want he means.
“When he says a failed Tory ideology, is his message to the country it is one reason, not the only one but is it one reason Labour believes that there is a record death toll in Britain?”
“Well, I was just about to come onto that,” insisted the Shadow Chancellor.
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It comes amid stark polling for Labour, if an election were held tomorrow, 41 percent of people would vote Tory, while 37 percent would opt for Labour – a significant fall on the month before when 41 percent of voters said they would choose Sir Keir over Mr Johnson.
The Government’s successful mass vaccination programme has been largely credited with the slip, as the country reaches its most united point in years following the EU’s threatening Britain’s vaccine supplies and triggering Article 16 of the Brexit deal.
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In a brutal assessment of Sir Keir’s first year, political strategist Tom Kibasi said the leader “would not leave a trace of a meaningful political project in his wake” if he resigned tomorrow.
He said the contrast between Sir Keir and Tony Blair – the party’s most successful leader – was “stark” and described the incumbent as “naive”.
“Blair had the courage of his convictions, would confront vested interests, and was prepared to take risks,” the Labour activist wrote in the Guardian.
“Starmer has instead let focus groups define his strategy, which is to go easy on the Government, rather than developing a clear message of his own.
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