Oh Keir! Labour leader squirms in BBC grilling as furious ex-party voters confront Starmer

Starmer and Labour are in a ‘death spiral’ says former voter

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BBC News’ Political Editor set up a chance for Sir Keir Starmer to meet some former Labour voters in Blackpool on Thursday in hopes to “regain their trust”. However, Sir Keir was left squirming during the encounter as the former loyal supports of the party grilled the struggling leader. One former voter, Frank, was blunt in his warning to the Labour leader. 

He said: “Trust is invaluable. If you lose trust in something or somebody or an organisation, to get that trust back is so difficult.

“You’re on a kind of death spiral.”

Sir Keir initially struggled to respond, blaming the lack of trust on Labour’s loss in 2019 under Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “Well, we lost really badly in 2019, we lost 60 seats in a row.”

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However, the decision to shift the blame onto his predecessor may not work out for the Labour leader as a new poll suggests half of the voters see Keir Starmer as “doing bad job as leader”.

A new Ipsos MORI survey for the Evening Standard showed that nearly six out of 10 people say Sir Keir is doing a “bad job” in setting out a clear alternative to the Government.

Several of the voters at the Blackpool encounter had not even heard of Sir Keir before their meeting.

One person told the BBC: “I have no idea when I last voted Labour, no idea in the slightest.

Keir Starmer meets former Labour voter who doesn’t know him

“And I’ve got no idea who he is.”

Another voter, Sue, said: “I don’t even recall ever seeing you before. So you are not out there are you, at the minute anyway.

“I wouldn’t have known who you were. No disrespect or anything, it is very nice to see you.”

Others told the leader that his ideas were “pie in the sky,” while some called them a “waste of time”.

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The Ipsos Mori poll also warned that Sir Keir may struggle to last as party leader, with some 34 percent of adults saying Labour should change leader before the next general election.

In a sign of a split within Labour, this was even higher among party supporters, with 38 percent saying Sir Keir should be replaced.

The visit to Blackpool marks the beginning of a tour of Britain for the Labour leader.

He has vowed to address a “trust issue” for his party,” claiming he will “sweat blood over months and years to earn respect” from voters.

The Ipsos MORI poll interviewed a representative sample of 1,053 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain between the 2nd and 8th July. 

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