Keir Starmer's leadership in crisis as Labour frontbencher quits warning party captured by 'woke brigade'

SIR Keir Starmer’s leadership has been plunged into crisis this evening after a frontbencher quit – warning the party had been captured by the “woke brigade”.

Launching an astonishing parting attack, Khalid Mahmood accused Sir Keir of engaging in “superficial flag waving” while Labour “lost touch with ordinary working people”.


The former shadow defence minister said Labour’s suicidal opposition to Brexit risks looking “anti-British” to the party’s former heartlands.

He fumed: “A London-based bourgeoisie, with the support of brigades of woke social media warriors, has effectively captured the party.

“They mean well, of course, but their politics – obsessed with identity, division and even tech utopianism – have more in common with those of Californian high society than the kind of people who voted in Hartlepool yesterday.”

In a scathing indictment of Sir Keir’s year in office, he said a bit of phoney “flag waving, reinforced by urgent memos from party HQ” is not going to “fix” their problem in the old Red Wall.

He added: “We have to recognise that the patriotism of these voters runs much deeper than that.

“They are more alert to rebranding exercises than spin doctors give them credit for.

“Their patriotism is about historic pride in their places, the heritage and stories of those places, and the Britishness and Englishness of the people and families that call them home.”

His blistering attack, in an article for Policy Exchange, will heap more pressure on embattled Sir Keir.

The Labour leader is not expected to face a leadership challenge, because moderate Labour MPs are terrified the hard-left could seize control of the party again.

But Labour insiders say the party boss must spell out how he will win back Red Wall voters within “the next few weeks” or risk consigning his leadership and party to the dustbin of leadership.

Earlier today Starmer said he takes "full responsibility" for Labour's defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

He says that too often the party has been talking to themselves – and vowed to do whatever is necessary to change the party’s prospects.

After the humilitation, Labour's Sir Keir Starmer is facing growing questions about his leadership and grumblings from across the party.

Left-wing vultures are circling after he lost Hartlepool to the Tories and also suffered a number of setbacks in local council races.

Allies of the former high-flying lawyer, who only took the reins in April last year are bullish and insist he isn't considering standing down.

But there are growing questions over his strategy and MPs on the left who were loyal to ex chief Jeremy Corbyn are growing restless.

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