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KEIR STARMER brushed off concerns yesterday that his centrist approach to leadership could drive left-wing and socialist voters from the Labour Party in Scotland.
The Labour leader, who took over in April, told the Star he believes the party needs to change its approach and move from the left-wing values championed under Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Keir was speaking in a press briefing, where he was asked by the Star whether he had any concerns about the loss of left-wing supporters and activists within the party ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections.
He said: “I believe it is quite possible to unite the party.
“It doesn’t mean everybody agrees. It means we learn respectfully to disagree, to make decisions, and to move on.”
But following Labour’s loss in December, with a manifesto and leadership putting socialist ideas at the forefront of the campaign, Mr Starmer said the party must change.
He added: “It’s obvious to me, after a loss such as the one we had in December, we need to change and to face the future in a different way.
“Not to accept the argument for change after you’ve lost an election in the worst way since 1935 would be a huge mistake.”
The claims came following sessions with party supporters, during which Sir Keir said he wanted to hear how he could rebuild confidence in the party, claiming that he was “extremely well aware there is no route back for Labour that does not run through Scotland.”
Asked what Labour was doing to protect workers and return to the party’s roots, he said: “I don’t think the values and principles of people in Scotland have changed. It’s something about the Labour Party that needs to change.”
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