So now Starmer says Thatcher was ‘terrible’… make your mind up, ‘Sir Flip-Flop’

If the Labour leader wants to win the respect of voters, he must pick a message and stick to it. And that includes his headline-grabbing soundbites, writes John Rentoul

Friday 08 December 2023 17:21 GMT
<p>The Labour leader now says the Iron Lady did ‘terrible things’ </p>

The Labour leader now says the Iron Lady did ‘terrible things’

If Keir Starmer wanted to give credence to the Conservatives calling him “Sir Flip-Flop”, he could not have done a better job. Just days after securing a rich crop of headlines for his praise of Margaret Thatcher, he now says she “did terrible things”.

That is not just a flip-flop – it is a triple axel, in which the skater takes off going forwards, spins and lands skating backwards. It is technically accomplished, but it means he was facing one way and is now facing the other.

Only last weekend, the Labour leader wrote in The Sunday Telegraph that Thatcher “sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”. It didn’t sound as if he was saying this was a bad thing.

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