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SIR KEIR STARMER published his first article as the new Labour leader in the billionaire Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday Times today in a mild attack on the Prime Minister’s “serious mistakes” during the pandemic.
Sir Keir, who won the party election with 56 per cent of the votes on Saturday, set PM Boris Johnson four tests to meet after mounting criticism of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
He wrote in the article, which is behind a paywall: “The public is placing an enormous trust in the government at the moment: it is vital that that trust is met with openness and transparency about those mistakes and the decisions that have been made.”
Despite former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s advice to steer away from forming a government of national unity with the Tories, Sir Keir also said that he would engage “constructively” with the government.
He said: “There will be many times when, and there are many issues upon which, I will fundamentally disagree with the Prime Minister.
“However, there will also be times when Labour can — and must — engage constructively with the government.”
He called for “blockages in the system” that are delaying the delivery of personal protective wear to front-line workers to be “addressed quickly.”
Mr Johnson congratulated Sir Keir in a call on Saturday afternoon and the pair agreed to meet next week to discuss the Covid-19 crisis.
In his first TV appearance as leader on the Andrew Marr Show today, Sir Keir pledged to create a “balanced” shadow cabinet, saying that Labour needed to change so that trust could be regained.
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