‘High tax, high price, low growth Government’ Keir throws down gauntlet to Boris

The Labour leader described this trio as a “toxic combination” for the country. He said the “red shoots” of Labour’s approach are beginning to show and that, come election time, the Prime Minister’s “broken promises” could come back to bite him.

Sir Keir was interviewed by the Times newspaper following the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election.

Echoing Emmanuel Macron’s criticism of Boris Johnson, he argued that the Conservative Government is not “serious”.

He added: “You do need serious government. You do need government that has a respectful, grown-up relationship with business. That’s what we’ve put on the table.”

The Labour leader labeled this this the “central division between us and the Tories”.

He said that the Covid pandemic continues to be a factor in Labour’s inability to gain proper traction, but that it is becoming more apparent that change is needed.

Pointing to increased taxation under the Government, he said: “The broken promises by the Prime Minister are going to start hitting people in their pocket.”

He predicted that this, alongside higher prices and lower growth, will be the downfall – or “the Achilles’ heel” – of the Government.

Sir Keir said he would like to do more than talk about the issues, stressing that “I’ve got a passion about actually changing [things]”.

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Others have highlighted that Sir Keir should not feel as “encouraged”, in the words of the Times, as he does by Labour’s recent 10 percent swing at the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election.

Patrick O’Flynn of the SDP noted that Labour produced a better result than in previous years partly because the Liberal Democrats did a deal to “barely campaign” in the constituency so as to damage the Conservative Party, which still produced a victory.

Despite this, Sir Keir believes Labour is in with a shot, particularly given that, since his recent reshuffle, his front bench is made up of the “strongest possible team”.

His mission, he says, is to “build back the trust” of former Labour voters who turned their backs on the party in the past.

He said: “Not just in 2019, but actually in 2017, 2015 and 2010 and no longer vote Labour.”

Sir Keir acknowledges that this is no small task.

But, at this stage, he insists that it’s not a matter of choice: “We absolutely need to win those votes.”

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