Discover more from Byline Supplement
British Voters Demand Radical Change But is Keir Starmer Listening?
Exclusive new poll suggests voters want a new '1945 moment' for Britain. Is the Labour Party prepared to give it to them?
An exclusive new poll for Byline Times shows that eight-in-ten voters want either radical or significant change to how the UK is run.
The survey, conducted by pollsters Omnisis, found a huge appetite for transforming the UK, with even a third of Conservative voters saying “radical change” is now required.
By contrast, only one-in-ten voters say they would instead prefer the Government to simply implement “better management of the status quo”.
Byline Supplement is an entirely reader-supported publication. To receive every post and support fearless independent journalism, please subscribe below
The findings come as Keir Starmer comes under growing pressure to set out his vision for Britain, amid signs that voters have doubts about the Labour leader’s plans.
According to our poll, voters are split down the middle on whether Labour understands the “scale of change required in the UK” with 43% saying they do, compared with 39% saying they don’t.
Reforming Britain is the theme of both the Byline Festival, due to take place this weekend, and our upcoming print edition.
In my column for this edition I reveal the full findings from this poll and ask whether Britain is now facing a ‘1945 moment’ akin to that seen when Prime Minister Clement Atlee formed the NHS and the welfare state out of the ashes of World War Two.
You can order your copy on the link below.
STARMER DENIES ‘COMPLETELY UNTRUE’ TREE-HUGGER COMMENT
The Labour leader has faced criticism in recent months for rowing back on some of his key pledges, most notably his plan to spend £28 billion a year on green energy projects, which has now been delayed until the second half of any first term of a Labour Government.
A report in last week’s Sunday Times suggested that Starmer saw the pledge as a distraction from the party’s economic message and quoted him as telling his Shadow Cabinet that “I hate tree huggers”.
However, a spokesman for the Labour leader later told Byline Times that The Sunday Times report was “completely untrue” and that Starmer had never made these comments.
One Starmer ally blamed the “hugely damaging” briefing on Shadow Cabinet members jostling for position in the party’s upcoming reshuffle.
“It was hugely damaging to our potential reach to young voters and to greener voters of all ages,” John McTernan, who was a former senior adviser to Tony Blair, told Byline Times.
“Whoever selfishly briefed that to The Sunday Times, to try to have a kick at [Shadow Climate Change Secretary] Ed Miliband and secure their own position in the Shadow Cabinet, should be taken out and shot at dawn.”
CLEANING OUT THE ‘BAD CHAPS’
There are some signs of Labour beginning to spell out their plans to reform how Britain is run, however.
On Thursday the Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner set out her plans to create a new Independent Ethics and Integrity Commission, designed to “restore public trust” in Government.
She said the era of assuming ministers were ‘good chaps’ who could be trusted to act ethically had been “tested to destruction”.
“It has long been assumed – mostly by those who think of themselves as the ‘good chaps’ in question – that all those who rise to high office will be such ‘good chaps’”, she told an event at the Institute for Government.
“The system relies on leaders acting in good faith. A system that has surely now been toppled.”
Rayner’s new watchdog would have the power to recommend fines for ministers found to have breached lobbying rules, as well as the ability to launch investigations into ministers suspected of breaching the Ministerial Code.
GET THE AUGUST EDITION OF BYLINE TIMES
The August Print Edition of Byline Times will be going out to subscribers soon. As well as my full report and poll findings on the UK’s new ‘1945 moment’ it contains:
An exclusive new column from legendary writer Bonnie Greer
Great writing and insight from regular columnists Peter Oborne, Jonathan Lis, Sonia Purnell, Penny Pepper, Chris Grey, Helen Belcher, Kyle Taylor, CJ Werleman, Otto English, Peter York, John Mitchinson, Emma Jones and Josiah Mortimer
If you would like to get a copy delivered to your door, while supporting fearless independent journalism, please subscribe with the link below from just £3.95 a month.