Keir Starmer rejects adopting rainbow alliance at national level

Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer declined to endorse Stroud District Council’s rainbow alliance as a blueprint for national politics.

Despite praising the council, which is led by a Labour, Green and Lib Dem co-operative alliance, Starmer said a Labour central government was needed.

Asked whether Stroud council’s three-party pact could be replicated at a parliamentary level, the Labour leader told the SNJ: “I think that the issues going into the next general election are going to be how we build a better Britain coming out of the pandemic and how we rise to the challenge of the climate crisis.

“That requires a strong Labour Government, and you’re only going to get a strong Labour government if you vote Labour.”

He added: “When it comes to climate change I don’t think this should just be a fight amongst political parties, this is a global challenge for all of us and all of us that care about the climate crisis should work together, but the best way of doing that is with a strong Labour government.”

In May, a rainbow alliance was re-elected to run Stroud District Council, made up of 15 Labour councillors, 13 Greens and three Liberal Democrats – controlling 31 of the 51 seats.

In the 2019 general election, Conservative Siobhan Baillie became Stroud MP with 47.9 per cent of the vote, beating incumbent Labour candidate David Drew whose vote share declined to 42.1 per cent.

The Green Party received 7.5 per cent, up 5.3 per cent from 2017, and the Brexit Party 1.6 per cent.

Stroud News and Journal: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer with Matron Liz Lovett as they enter Stroud General Hospital in GloucestershireLabour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer with Matron Liz Lovett as they enter Stroud General Hospital in Gloucestershire

Starmer emphasized his support for Stroud District Council: “I salute those on the council here, who are working really hard in difficult circumstances.

“Like all councils, they’ve had their funding slashed and they have stepped up to the plate during the pandemic to provide for local communities so all credit to the council, to the leadership and all those that have pulled together in this.”

The politician was in Stroud on Wednesday to thank staff at the General Hospital for their work during the pandemic and listen to their concerns about waiting-lists and salaries.

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