Tories Should Be Making Gains At Next Week's Local Elections, Keir Starmer Says

Starmer said he stands by Labour's Rishi Sunak attack advert and denied it is racist
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner.
Peter Byrne - PA Images via Getty Images

Keir Starmer has suggested the Conservative Party should make gains in next week’s local election.

The Labour leader appeared to be managing expectations ahead of the vote on Thursday, May 4.

He said the Conservatives’ baseline is “on the floor” due to the poor show last time these seats were fought under Theresa May.

Starmer told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday the Tories saw their second-worst set of results ever in 2019 so he found it “astonishing” that the party is claiming it could see 1,000 losses next week.

“For the Conservative Party the baseline is on the floor,” he said. “They should be making gains and if they can’t make gains on that awful set of the results then I think there are serious questions as to whether Rishi Sunak is going backwards in fact in terms of their electoral prospects.

“So it’s a difficult cycle because of that baseline but I think really the question will be why aren’t the Conservatives making significant gains?”

Starmer said he was “humble” about the process and knows Labour has to “earn every vote, but we do want to make progress”.

The top Labour MP was also grilled over his party’s controversial attack advert that accused prime minister Sunak of not supporting the jailing of child sex offenders.

Starmer said he personally stands by the advert because of the Tories’ “unforgivable” approach to criminal justice.

He also denied the advert is racist when asked if Labour targeted the first British Asian prime minister in light of racist tropes about grooming gangs.

“No,” he told Sky News: “The vast majority of child sex offences are not by people of Asian origin.”


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