Lewis Goodall questions whether the country 'desires' a Labour government

17 July 2023, 14:34

Lewis Goodall: What's the 'point' of a Labour government?

By Anna Fox

Following Sir Keir Starmer's latest policy U-turn, Lewis Goodall questioned the capability of the Labour Party, if they succeed at the next general election.

Sir Keir Starmer has refused to say whether a Labour government would spend more money on public services.

In a statement on Sunday, the Labour leader said his party would inevitably invest in public services but to do this it needed to expand the economy.

Lewis Goodall asked his listeners what the "point" of a Labour government is if there isn't any money to spend.

Continuing, Lewis noted how the "comparison is always made with New Labour in 1997 - there is a very, very big difference".

He added: "The economy at that time was growing and it was growing strongly, so they could sit safe in the knowledge that, okay, they're doing this for political reasons, stick to Tory spending plans for two years.

"But then after that, they could turn the spending taps on."

Reflecting on the legacy of the New Labour period, Lewis noted: "That is what that was all about", adding "it was about the transformation in the schools' budget, the transformation of the National Health Service".

Deeming the economy as "sclerotic", Lewis stated: "There is no prospect, it seems, immediately anyway, of the Labour Party being able to do that", adding "it is going to take a long time to get back to anything like it was in the new Labour period".

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Questioning whether Labour could "do enough", Lewis added: "Is the danger for Keir Starmer now and for the Labour Party that simply it becomes more of the same?"

Continuing he said: "When you have a government which is 20-30 points behind in the polls that have an opposition masking that government's move in towards the political positioning of that government, can that really be?"

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Concluding Lewis said: "Maybe it's a credible political strategy, but is it really what the country desires?"

The Labour leader is also facing a furious backlash from Labour MPs over plans to uphold the Tories’ two-child benefit cap.

In his latest U-turn, which has been condemned by backbenchers and shadow ministers, Sir Keir backtracked on plans to scrap the policy devised by then-chancellor George Osborne.

While running to become Labour leader, Sir Keir had said scrapping the policy was one of his “ideas to tackle the vast social injustice in our country”.