Sir Keir Starmer says he doesn’t feel threatened “in the slightest” by reports that his predecessor could be setting up a new political party.
Talking to Nick Ferrari on LBC, the Labour leader commented on rumours that Jeremy Corbyn has been urged by many in his inner circle, including his wife Laura Alvarez, to upgrade his charity into a political party, and run under its banner at the next election.
If the party is established, it could tempt the defection of Left-wing MPs who are disaffected with the leadership of Starmer, and could take the name of the Peace and Justice Project, which Mr Corbyn established to coordinate his political activities after he was suspended from Labour.
“I don’t feel threatened in the slightest”
Asked by a caller whether he is worried about the prospect of a Corbyn-run competitor, Starmer said: “I don’t feel threatened in the slightest by that.”
He said: “The vast majority of Labour supporters want to see a Labour government, that’s the whole point in the Labour Party.
“When I took over the Labour Party in 2020 I had to do three things double quick.
“The first was to recognise we lost really badly (in 2019) and admit we got it wrong.
“The next bit is to say this government isn’t fit for purpose.
“And then we have to show that if the Johnson government isn’t up to it then we are. That’s why I had a reshuffle and put our top team out there, to show what the alternative is.”
Starmer also touched on the prospect of Gary Neville running as Labour’s candidate in the Great Manchester mayoral race in 2024.
The Manchester United legend recently joined the Labour Party, according to shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell, and is thought to be eying up roles in politics.
Neville is an outspoken critic of Boris Johnson, and has held the government’s feet to the fire in the past few weeks as it has been buffeted by scandal.
Here’s what Starmer had to say on the matter: