Keir Starmer Blasts Rishi Sunak's 'Desperation' And 'Weakness'

<span class="copyright">Leon Neal via Getty Images</span>
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Keir Starmer has said he is fed up of “wasting” his life in opposition, as he attacked “weak” and “desperate” Rishi Sunak.

Speaking in West Sussex on Monday, the Labour leader said there had been a “smile on my face since January 1” because he “knew this was going to be election year”.

At the start of the first full week of campaigning, Starmer laughed off Tory attempts to copy Donald Trump’s insults by branding him “sleepy”.

“You’ve seen the energy that not only I but the whole team are putting into this election,” he told reporters.

“I’ve wasted nine years of my life in opposition. I have four and half years to change this labour party and now I have the chance to take that to the country.

“We’re doing that not only with the energy but also with a smile, with the positivity, across all of our candidates as we go into the next general election.”

Over the weekend a Conservative source told The Sun Starmer was “Sir Sleepy” and the Financial Times quoted Tory officials as branding him “Sleepy Keir”.

The attacks are an obvious aping of Trump’s attack on Joe Biden as “Sleepy Joe”.

Starmer sought to contrast his attempts to move Labour to the centre ground with Sunak who he said had shown “weakness upon weakness” when it came to standing up to right-wing Tory MPs.

“I have changed this Labour party, dragged it back to service, and I will do exactly the same for Westminster - that is the choice at this election: Service or self-interest, stability or chaos, a Labour Party that has changed or a Tory Party that has run away from the mainstream,” he said.

He said Sunak’s big announcement that 18-year-olds would be required to do national service was like a “teenage Dad’s Army” and da sign of “desperation”.