FORMER Labour leader Ed Miliband has insisted Sir Keir Starmer is ‘definitely’ better in the role than him.
Challenged on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, the now shadow business secretary joked he ‘certainly never had his approval ratings’, when asked who was the better leader between Sir Keir and himself.
‘I think he’s made a great start. I think he’s shown not just competence but the kind of seriousness that this crisis demands,’ added Mr Miliband, who led Labour to defeat in the 2015 election. ‘I think the more people see of him the more they’ll see the integrity, the principle and decency I know really well.’
Mr Miliband denied a leadership ‘purge’ against the Labour left, as he backed the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey. Sir Keir fired Ms Long-Bailey last Thursday after she shared an interview with actress Maxine Peake containing an allegedly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
The Shameless star had claimed the Israeli secret services had taught US police the technique that killed George Floyd. She later acknowledged this was ‘inaccurate’.
Mr Miliband said Ms Long-Bailey is a ‘very decent person’ and does not believe she is anti-Semitic.
He said Sir Keir is trying to stop Labour being ‘mired’ in issues that are a ‘stain’ on the party.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky’s Sophy Ridge he ‘gasped’ when he saw Ms Long-Bailey’s tweet. Ms Long-Bailey has said it is not ‘racist or anti-Semitic’ to draw attention to concerns about police tactics.