Starmer has just exposed how dangerous Labour still is

Jeremy Corbyn congratulates now Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Jeremy Corbyn congratulates now Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

There are few more depressing TV programmes than Question Time. But every few years, it comes into its own. In election campaigns it ditches the panel and has individual party leaders. And there is something about this format, in which normal(ish) people grill the leaders directly, that almost always leads to them blurting out something they really didn’t want to say.

Which brings us to Keir Starmer.

Last night he was asked about his attempt in 2019 to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister. Backed into a corner, he suggested that he really did think Corbyn would have been the better choice as PM.

Initially Sir Keir gave his now familiar waffle, implying that because he knew Labour would lose it was perfectly ok for him to campaign for Corbyn. He was pressed by the host, Fiona Bruce, over his comment that he thought Corbyn would make a “great” prime minister: “Did you mean it? Or did you have your fingers crossed behind your back?”

More waffle followed – “I was campaigning for the Labour Party” – but Bruce, to her great credit, was having none of it. “Answer this yes or no. When you said Jeremy Corbyn would be a good prime minister, did you mean it?”

And then it came: “Look – he would be a better prime minister…look what we got, Boris Johnson.”

The only times in this campaign that Starmer has looked uncomfortable has been when he has been asked about his support for Corbyn. If he could lie about that, the questioning has gone, how do we know he isn’t lying now about his plans?

Now we know that it wasn’t, after all, a lie – that in a choice between Corbyn and Boris Johnson, Starmer really did think Corbyn was the better option.

You hardly need me to point out the chaos that accompanied Boris Johnson as PM, the breaking of lockdown rules and the dissembling to parliament. To my mind Boris Johnson was not worthy of the office of prime minister.

But a contest between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn was never a contest. Sometimes elections throw up a choice between two undesirable outcomes – as we are now seeing in the US presidential race. The only decision to make is which is the least undesirable. Johnson may have been unworthy of being PM, but Corbyn is simply not fit for public office – of any kind. Even his position as a backbench MP disgraced the Commons. That Starmer thinks he would have been a better choice as PM is, to put it mildly, revealing.

Corbyn is a hard-Left ideologue who embraces the most disgusting causes and flirts with the enemies not just of our country but of democracy itself. Until his election as Labour leader in 2015 Corbyn was chair of Stop the War, an organisation more accurately titled “Stop the West”, since it campaigns against Western self-defence and military action and in favour of the West’s enemies.

He regards members of Hamas and Hezbollah, two proscribed terrorist organisations, as friends. He has repeatedly refused to directly condemn IRA bombing, instead using formulations such as, “I condemn what was done by the British Army as well as the other sides as well”.

Under his watch, anti-Semitism ran riot in the Labour Party. Labour was investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) because of concerns over anti-Semitism within the party. Jewish MP Luciana Berger was driven out of the party in 2019.

This is the man Keir Starmer has now admitted he thinks would have been a better choice of PM than Boris Johnson. One of the mysteries of the past few years has been who the real Keir Starmer is. It is deeply worrying that now we know.