Labour has “claimed the centre” ground following a win in the Wakefield by-election, Sir Keir Starmer has said.
Writing in the Guardian, the Labour leader said the party has rolled up its sleeves since the “horror of the last general election” by “rooting out the poison of antisemitism” and “shedding unworkable or unaffordable policies”.
He said Labour is now “closer to power than it has been in more than a decade”, overlooking the fact that it got within a whisper of forming a government in 2017, and that “Labour is now firmly in the centre-ground of British politics”.
Starmer’s confident position comes as Boris Johnson announced he plans to be prime minister into the 2030s.
He urged Tory MPs plotting to oust him not to focus on the issues he has “stuffed up” after his authority was further diminished by a Cabinet resignation.
And he insisted questions over his leadership were now settled after the loss of Wakefield and former stronghold Tiverton and Honiton.
According to the latest polling, his net approval rating has fallen to -28 (-1), with 27 per cent approving and 55 per cent disapproving of the job he is doing.
But more people (28 per cent) still think he would make a better PM than Sir Keir Starmer (27 per cent).