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Keir Starmer pushes Labour rightwards

Keir Starmer’s insistence he will not scrap the Tories’ two-child benefit cap is creating some fractures within the Labour Party
Issue 2864
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer stands in front of a Union Jack

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer

How many more promises can Labour leader Keir Starmer break before they come back to haunt him? Starmer’s insistence he will not scrap the Tories’ two-child benefit cap is creating some fractures. 

Two Labour MPs, Monica Lennon and Mercedes Villalba, both spoke out against the policy. Villalba tweeted, “Starmer was elected leader of the Labour Party on a pledge to scrap the two-child limit. It’s what members want, it’s what the public expects, and it’s what the country needs.”

While Starmer’s allies obediently fell in line over the policy, even they had to admit that the benefit cap is devastating for families. Deputy leader Angela Rayner said on Monday she stood by her previous comments describing the cap as “obscene and inhumane”. 

Another Labour shadow minister said there was “a lot of unhappiness” among MPs over Starmer’s position.  There is tension even among Starmer’s natural allies in the unions. While not openly criticising Starmer, Unison leader Christina McAnea wrote on Monday, “The two-child limit is still cruel now and should be abolished.” The TUC union federation put out a similar statement. 

But most Labour and union leaders are trying to get a Labour government at any cost, rather that looking to workers’ resistance. That means that, while they might complain, they prefer to go along with every right turn. 

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