Sir Keir Starmer has ditched the promises he made when standing to be Labour leader two years ago, vowing to fight the next election on a “clean slate” of new policies.
In a move that risks angering Left-wing MPs, the Labour leader said the economic impact of Covid meant commitments entered into before the pandemic can’t be honoured.
And risking a further schism with trade unions and members of his own frontbench, he issued a new ban on shadow ministers attending rail pickets on Wednesday.
He won the contest to replace Jeremy Corbyn, which took place in early 2020, by running on a socialist platform at the heart of which sat 10 key pledges.
They included renationalising rail, energy, water and the Royal Mail plus “defending free movement” with the EU, both of which policies he has already publicly dropped.
Sir Keir also promised to increase income tax for the top five per cent of earners and to oppose the then Conservatives’ plans to cut corporation tax.
But he said all those pledges have been formally scrapped, along with the commitments in the party’s disastrous 2019 manifesto.
“A lot has happened in the last two years. We’ve been through Covid we have debt on a scale we’ve not seen for a long, long time if ever before,” Sir Keir told BBC Radio 4.