Sir Keir Starmer suggests he would have served in Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won 2019 election

Starmer/Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would have served in Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won the 2019 election

PA
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 18/06/2024

- 11:46

Earlier in the campaign, Starmer said he makes 'no apology' for campaigning for Corbyn in 2019

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would have served in Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won the 2019 election.

The Labour leader was repeatedly asked if he would have served in a Corbyn government. Responding, he dismissed the questions as "hypothetical".


He said: "It didn’t cross my mind because I didn’t think we would win", adding: "I don’t think anybody thought we were going to win".

But pressed on the issue, he told LBC: "It is hypothetical... if we had got it over the line there were important things that I thought needed to be done from the frontbench, to continue and complete on the Brexit work, to make it absolutely clear that the Labour Party never deviated from our position on Nato and to do the necessary work on antisemitism.

Starmer/Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would have served in Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won the 2019 election.

PA

"But as we went into that 2019 election I genuinely did not think, and I wasn’t alone in this, that Labour would win that election."

Earlier in the campaign, Starmer said he makes "no apology" for campaigning for Corbyn in 2019.

Asked about his support for Corbyn in an election debate, Starmer said: "I'm glad I did because I wanted good colleagues to be returned to have their seats - so I make no apology for that, I fought for the Labour Party at the last election."

Asked if there was a trust issue with voters given his changes of position on various issues, Starmer said: “No because what I would say is this – I decided it must be country first so every decision after that I judged previous decisions, previous positions and I said ‘Is this truly country first, party second’; if the answer to that was ‘no’ then I changed the position and dragged my party back to the service of working people.”

He also denied that the Labour Party has a problem when it comes to earning voters trust, saying he has "changed" the party.

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would have served in Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won the election in 2019.

Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would have served in Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet if Labour had won the election in 2019

PA

Asked repeatedly if he would have served in a Corbyn government, Starmer dismissed the questions as "hypothetical", adding: "It didn’t cross my mind because I didn’t think we would win".

He continued: "I don’t think anybody thought we were going to win".

Asked again, he told LBC: "It is hypothetical... if we had got it over the line there were important things that I thought needed to be done from the frontbench, to continue and complete on the Brexit work, to make it absolutely clear that the Labour Party never deviated from our position on Nato and to do the necessary work on antisemitism.

"But as we went into that 2019 election I genuinely did not think, and I wasn’t alone in this, that Labour would win that election."

Corbyn was expelled from the parliamentary party over his response to EHRC's damning report on antisemitism in 2020 and then sat as an independent MP.

In February, Starmer confirmed that Corbyn will "categorically" not stand as a Labour Party candidate at the next general election, saying he "betrayed" the values of the British people.

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Allies of the former Labour leader have claimed he is "neck and neck" with the Labour Party in the race to win his old constituency of Islington North.

Corbyn, who is running as an independent, has held the seat for 40 years.

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