Starmer Trashes Labour Renationalisation Policy

Rail workers marching on Parliament on June 18th – 40,000 RMT members are on strike again tomorrow

LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves trashed the party’s renationalisation policy yesterday.

In a speech in Liverpool, with a back-drop bedecked with Union Jacks, Starmer described Tory leadership candidate Sunak as ‘the architect of the cost-of-living crisis,’ and his opponent Truss as ‘the latest graduate from the school of magic money tree economics’.

Starmer said that in future Labour will not ‘announce a single penny of day-to-day spending without saying how we would pay for it’.

He said he would ‘challenge my party’s instincts’, with a focus ‘as much about growth and productivity, as we have done in the past about redistribution and investment’.

When standing for leader, Starmer pledged to support ‘common ownership’ but recently said he is ‘not in favour of nationalisation’.

In the press conference at the end of his speech, Starmer said: ‘I take a pragmatic approach rather than an ideological one and I agree with what Rachel Reeves said this morning.’

He went on: ‘I want to get away from the idea that redistribution of the pie is all that you need to grow your economy, all you need for fairness.’

He was asked by the Liverpool Echo: ‘Just to push you on this public ownership issue, it seems like some members of your shadow cabinet have maintained that, particularly when it comes to rail, public ownership and bringing the trains back under public control remains a Labour priority. Can I push you on that one please?’

Starmer replied with a non-answer, saying: ‘I want to be pragmatic, rather than ideological on this. I think that what some of our mayors and metro mayors are doing with public transport is the right way forward, absolutely focused on keeping the price down and making sure there’s control over the way things go, particularly buses.’

Earlier, on BBC Radio 4, Labour Shadow Chancellor Reeves said: ‘I’ve set out fiscal rules that say all day-to-day spending will be funded by day-to-day tax revenues.

‘Within our fiscal rules, to be spending billions of pounds on nationalising things, that just doesn’t stack up against our fiscal rules.’

Asked to confirm whether she had just dropped Labour commitments to renationalise, she said: ‘They were a commitment in a manifesto that secured our worst results since 1935. We have scrapped the 2019 manifesto.

‘That is not the starting point. We’re setting out distinct policies under Keir Starmer, the plans today around industrial strategy, my commitments around a climate investment pledge, our plans to buy, make, and sell more in Britain, reforms to the business rate system.

‘Those are the policies that will be going into the next election under Keir Starmer, not the policies of 2019.’