‘Nearest thing to Blair’ - Lord Mandelson backs Keir Starmer as he declares ‘it reminds me of 1997’

‘Nearest thing to Blair’ - Lord Mandelson backs Keir Starmer as he declares ‘it reminds me of 1997’

GB News broadcast was interrupted by Peter Mandelson at the Labour Party Conference

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 10/10/2023

- 12:16

Updated: 10/10/2023

- 12:59

Peter Mandelson said Keir Starmer is 'completely in touch and connected with the people'

Lord Mandelson has claimed that Labour leader Keir Starmer is the "nearest thing to Blair", as he made a surprise appearance on GB News.

Speaking to Andrew Pierce on Britain's Newsroom, the Labour peer walked in on Andrew speaking to GB News Political Editor Christopher Hope and former Labour Councillor Kevin Craig.

Lord Mandelson revealed he was at the conference in Liverpool to "share his support for Johnny Reynolds and Rachel Reeves' speeches.

He added: "I did with great enthusiasm because they were great speeches, and I was put there with Sadiq Khan. We were like 2 bookends."

GB News' Christopher Hope then asked Mandelson on Keir Starmer's leadership in comparison to Tony Blair.

Lord Peter Mandelson appears on GB News

Lord Peter Mandelson says Keir Starmer is the 'nearest thing to Tony Blair'

GB News

He asked: "You knew Tony Blair, he's a friend of yours. He isn't here, you're here. People say to us that Keir Starmer is not Tony Blair. Is that a bad thing?"

Mandelson replied: "I said that. Keir Starmer is not Tony Blair, but I said something else. He's the nearest thing to Tony Blair of any leader of the Labour Party since Blair. He's a mainstream politician, he's completely in touch with and connected with what people are thinking in the country."

"He's totally committed to restarting the economy, and he's not wobbly on defence and national security. Now that's what people want to see from a Prime Minister. They saw it in Blair, big celebrity, big box office.

He concluded: "Keir Starmer is not the same as Blair, but as I've said, he's the nearest thing to Blair of any leader since Blair. That's my view."

Andrew then asked the Labour peer: "And have you helped with his [Keir Starmer] speech?"

Mandelson joked: "No, I'm just going to sit there in the hall, waiting with bated breath."

Hope then joked back: "Will you be sat in the front row again?", to which Mandelson replied "I will go where I'm put".

He probed Mandelson's relationship with Keir Starmer and his team, revealing: "Are you the secret power behind the throne, you and Tony Blair? Everyone tells us you're in daily contact with the team. You're behind the scenes?"

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves on stage at the Labour Party Conference

Keir Starmer is set to give his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference


Mandelson praised Starmer, saying: "I love the Starmer team. They remind me of the 1997 team. Absolutely focus driven, 24/7.

"I love the Starmer team. They are so good and they're so professional. They care about the country.

"They know who they're talking to, which is the public in this country, not their own party activists."

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