EXCLUSIVE: Caroline Lucas ‘terrified’ Keir Starmer won’t inspire voters to kick the Tories out of office

The Green Party MP said Starmer is being 'too bloody cautious'

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas has said she is ‘terrified’ that the Labour Party under Keir Starmer won’t be sufficiently inspiring to voters and that the Tories might therefore win the next election. The Green Party MP made the comments in response to a question from Left Foot Forward at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton.

Lucas was speaking at a fringe meeting in which she was quizzed about her career in parliament following her decision to stand down as an MP at the next election.

Asked what scares her the most about the future of politics, Lucas first said she was fearful of the current state of the Conservative Party in the UK, which she criticised for its engagement in culture war politics.

She told the meeting: “It isn’t a Conservative Party now, it is a hard right party.” She added, that “the way in which you just saw Nigel Farage dancing with Priti Patel at the [Conservative Party] conference – that scares me because it tells me that the Conservative Party now has become a party that welcomes in Farage. And Farage doesn’t need to stand against them anymore because they have become him. I think that whole narrative – net zero is now part of it – of scapegoating immigrants and asylum seekers and so forth, all of that narrative now is mainstream, it’s not on the fringes anymore. It’s absolutely mainstream. And I am terrified of that.”

However, she also criticised the Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and the direction he has taken the party in since taking on the leadership. She suggested that his political positions mean that Labour are risking not turning out a sufficient number of voters to win the next election.

Lucas said: “I am terrified that Keir Starmer isn’t going to inspire enough people to vote for an alternative, which might just mean we get this lot back again. I don’t think it’s a done deal. I understand why he thinks he has to be cautious and have his bloody ‘fiscal responsibility’, but there is that thing of being too bloody cautious, there is that thing about not inspiring people to get out and vote at all.”

Concluding her remarks she hinted that the most recent incarnation of the Conservative Party is showing signs of veering towards fascism. She said: “When we add up what they’re doing, and Mhairi Black has spoken about this when she’s spoken in parliament where she has said fascism doesn’t always come wearing jackboots. And I’m not somebody who uses the ‘f-word’ lightly, but if you look at what’s happening – the contempt for the judiciary, the contempt for journalists, and when we’ve seen the kind of language in which anyone who’s different, whether you’re an immigrant, whether you’re a trans person – all of those issues are now being weaponised, I just think we’re in incredible dangerous times.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy of development at Left Foot Forward

Image credit: UK Parliament – Creative Commons

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