Labour hints it could hold back in Lib Dem-facing constituencies to deny the Tories a majority

'I will focus my party on those target seats, on the places where we can win and we know we have to win.'

Keir Starmer speaking at a lectern

Labour leader Keir Starmer has hinted that his party will effectively step back in Lib Dem target seats at the next general election, where the party did not have a realistic chance of defeating the Tories but the Lib Dems did.

The Labour leader however ruled out any formal ‘alliance’ with the Lib Dems. He told Times Radio’s Ayesha Hazarika: “I do think we should have a Labour candidate that people can vote for wherever they live. And depriving them of that is not the right thing to do.

“There are also issues in relation to our rules. But look, you know, given the size of the task that we face, given my utter determination that we are going to get this over the line at the next general election, I am very clear as to what our target seats are. I know where we have to win across the whole of the United Kingdom. And therefore, I will focus my party on those target seats, on the places where we can win and we know we have to win.

“If you take North Shropshire for example, that isn’t on my list of target seats. That is not one of the seats that I ever thought we could realistically win… Chesham and Amersham, North Shropshire, are not on my list of target seats. Am I pleased to see the Tories upended there? Yes, I am. But I have to sort of take an approach, given the situation we’re in, which is very clearly focused on the route for the Labour Party to win power at the next general election.”

Starmer was also asked what he thinks defines Starmerism, to which he replied: “Build a New Britain, build a new Britain coming out of the pandemic. This is a political moment, the pandemic, and the burning question at the next election is going to be how do we build that New Britain coming out of this? And therefore, a context is everything in politics as it is in law, you know, my old profession.

“The context here is the new Britain that needs to come out of this pandemic. And that is the mission that is what we will build as an incoming Labour government.”

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