Keir Starmer has done an outstanding job in his first year as Labour leader

Much of the grumbling about Starmer’s leadership is simply the white noise of politics, writes John Rentoul

Sunday 04 April 2021 00:00
<p>Happy first anniversary as Labour leader to Keir Starmer</p>

Happy first anniversary as Labour leader to Keir Starmer

I’m sorry Keir Starmer doesn’t zing journalists’ socks off, but that is the wrong measure of an opposition leader’s ability to rebuild a party’s wrecked credibility. It might be more exciting for the press if Starmer were a charismatic preacher of the new Jerusalem, but there is no such person and the British people are disinclined to believe that there is such a place.

There is no one in the parliamentary Labour Party who could do a better job than Starmer, and he has done a reasonable job with the people at his disposal in a difficult historical situation.

Sometimes, politics is simple. At the moment, the only thing anyone cares about is vaccines, and the vaccination programme is going well, so Boris Johnson is popular. But Starmer’s dullness, his competence and his integrity stand him in good stead when politics is about other things, as it will be at the next election in 2023 or 2024.

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