Sir Keir Starmer scraps 10 ‘socialist’ Labour pledges

“A lot has happened in the last two years. We’ve been through Covid we have debt on a scale we’ve not seen for a long, long time if ever before,” Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4. 

“We have to go into the next election making choices, where we have to say we will do X because we can afford it but we might not be able to do Y and to be open and transparent about it.”

Asked if that meant his 10 leadership pledges were now dead in the water, he replied: “Yes. The financial situation has changed, the debt situation has changed.”

The Confederation of British Industry had previously calculated the upfront cost of Labour’s nationalisation plans at £196 billion.

Sir Keir acknowledged the move would anger those on the Left of his party, agreeing that “saying no” to your own side “is the hardest thing” to do in politics. 

Vow to maintain radical values

Despite his remarks, the 10 pledges are still on his website, on which he says they are “based on the moral case for socialism” and vows to “maintain our radical values”.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former spokesman for Mr Corbyn, said: “If Starmer was honest about his intentions, or if there was even some ambiguity, he would not have won the leadership. 

“That is why he felt the need to publish the 10 pledges, and foreground them on his website and a mass mailout to all members that would have cost tens of thousands.”

Sir Keir acknowledged that the move may anger those on the Left of the party, adding that “saying no” to your own side “is the hardest thing” to do in politics. 

Despite his remarks, the 10 pledges “based on the moral case for socialism” were still on his website alongside a vow to “maintain our radical values”.

And the Labour leader faced a second day of backlash from Corbynite backbenchers over ditching the party’s commitment to renationalisation. 

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