Labour leader Starmer under fire in Liverpool for article in The Sun

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Flowers and tributes left at the Hillsborough Memorial outside Anfield stadium  (PA)
Flowers and tributes left at the Hillsborough Memorial outside Anfield stadium (PA)

Furious Labour MPs across Merseyside have turned on party leader Sir Keir Starmer after he wrote an article for The Sun.

Sir Keir was accused of betraying the city and “not fit” to be leader of the Labour Party.

The Sun newspaper has been widely boycotted on Merseyside for its coverage of the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, which claimed the lives of 97 Liverpool fans.

Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West Derby – himself a Reds supporter who attended the FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest, said families of the victims, survivors and the city itself “smeared by the rag” would feel “profoundly betrayed” and anyone who writes for the paper is “not fit” to be Labour leader.

Kim Johnson, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, said she felt “deep anger” and has written to Sir Keir asking him to come to Liverpool to meet the families of those killed and survivors.

Paula Barker, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said on Twitter: “I do not subscribe to the view that we need to have a relationship with the rag in order to win an election – this is 2021 not 1997.

“He does not do this in my name.

“Nevertheless, I apologise to everyone in my city, especially Hillsborough families and survivors.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, added: “My position on that (supposed) newspaper and Labour politicians engaging with it has not changed.

“The piece published today has unsurprisingly upset a lot of people across my region.

“The S*n is not and never will be welcome here.

“I have been in touch with Keir to reiterate my position and express the disappointment that I and many others feel.”

Joanne Anderson, directly elected Mayor of Liverpool, tweeted: “@UKLabour should never work with this paper.”

Sir Keir promised not to give interviews to the tabloid during his leadership campaign in January 2020.

The boycott of The Sun came after it published a notorious, and erroneous, front page, headlined The Truth, alleging blame for the disaster laid with drunken Liverpool fans.

After a justice campaign spanning three decades, victims’ families and survivors were vindicated in 2016, when a jury at the inquests unanimously ruled the fans were unlawfully killed and Liverpool supporters played no part in causing the fatal crushing at the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough ground on April 15, 1989.

The Sun has made a front-page apology in 2012 in the wake of the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which led to the 2016 inquests, and again at the conclusion of those inquests.

Sir Keir’s article in The Sun accused the Prime Minister of “incompetence” and talks about working people struggling “to get to work, feed their families and pay the bills”.

Read More

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out tax rises as Tory conference begins

Johnson pledges ‘big, bold’ actions to rebuild Britain after Covid

Johnson tells haulage industry to stop relying on cheap foreign drivers

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting