Keir Starmer: Labour branch passes ‘motion of no confidence’ in leader

Adam Forrest
·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Despite overcoming the 17-point advantage the Tories enjoyed in the final poll of the Jeremy Corbyn era, one local branch of the Labour Party appears still firmly unconvinced by Sir Keir Starmer.

The Camberwell Green branch in Southwark on Thursday evening passed a motion of no confidence in the party leader, and said its members did not believe Sir Keir could lead the party to victory against Boris Johnson’s Conservatives or deliver “socialist” policies.

“This branch has lost confidence in Keir Starmer as leader of the Labour party,” the group stated on Twitter. “It does not believe he can win a general election and deliver the socialist policies that this country so badly needs.”

Despite the group’s complaint about Sir Keir’s electability, the two parties remain neck-and-neck in the polls. It marks a substantial shift from the 17-point advantage the Tories enjoyed last April.

The latest YouGov survey, carried out just before Christmas, showed Labour enjoying a four-point lead over the Tories – though a Deltapoll survey taken just after Christmas gave the Conservatives a five-point lead.

Sir Keir may not need to be worried by a single branch’s symbolic protest, but many die-hard Corbyn supporters and some anti-Brexit campaigners continue to criticise the Labour leader on social media.

The motion of no confidence comes as one of his backbenchers, Rosie Duffield MP, said the majority of her colleagues in the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) are “desperate” to re-join the EU in future.

The MP for Canterbury told The Huffington Post they would try to “shift the leadership” towards the re-joiner position, even if it took a long time. “We’re not talking in the next five years realistically … Possibly we might even have a different sort of set up, a different leader by then, who knows.”

The latest research suggests Sir Keir has managed to win back some of the Leave voters who deserted the party at that last general election.

One 7,000-strong poll taken last month by Opinium showed Labour now has backing from 20 per cent of Leave voters – having only won 16 per cent of Leave voters at the last election.

The Independent has asked the Labour leader’s office for comment on the Camberwell Green branch’s motion of no confidence.

Many local Labour branches are made up of only a few dozen members, and the motion has no bearing on the larger Camberwell and Peckham Constituency Labour Party (CLP) which elects people to national party structures.