Keir Starmer is ‘boring voters to death’, his own shadow cabinet ministers say as they urge the Labour leader to ‘show what he really stands for’
- Labour Leader Sir Kier Starmer is perceived as dull by voters, a new poll says
- More than half of people surveyed gave a negative response about Starmer
- The word ‘boring’ was the most often associated with him, followed by ‘honest’
Members of Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet have warned the Labour leader that he is ‘boring voters to death’ as a separate poll revealed voters feel he is ‘bland but honest’.
Shadow cabinet members fear the former lawyer is yet to impose his own political vision on the party or its agenda since taking over as leader of the party in 2020.
Senior Labour sources admitted they are urging him to make clear his priorities before the party conference in the autumn.
One shadow cabinet minister told the Times: ‘Is he exciting? No, of course not – that isn’t why we ended up with him. But there is a big difference between not being Mr Razzmatazz and boring everyone to death…’
A second added: ‘There’s no energy or direction from his team. We don’t need a full manifesto but we do need a big vision, clear priorities and a bold offer. What are they waiting for?’
Their comments come as a fresh blow to the Labour leader just a day after it was revealed he was facing a parliamentary investigation into claims he failed to declare thousands of pounds-worth of freebies and book royalties on time.
And just days earlier, Starmer’s deputy and clearest rival to the Labour leadership criticised his lacklustre performances, saying he needs to ‘put more welly into it’.
According to a new poll, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is seen as uninteresting but truthful
According to a researcher Keir Starmer’s perceived boringness benefits him as voters are uninterested in negative stories about him
Mrs Rayner this week hinted at frustration over the Labour leader’s long career as a lawyer, which she claimed often led him to ‘take the emotion out’.
The intervention by the party’s deputy leader comes amid Labour dismay at Sir Keir’s leaden performance at Prime Minister’s Questions this week, with party insiders insisting he ‘missed an open goal’ with ample chances to grill the Prime Minister.
The Labour leader is also being probed by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, over breaches of rules on earnings and gifts.
A source confirmed the investigation relates to delayed declarations of hospitality at football matches, book royalties and donations to staff from the Just Eat food delivery firm.
The games involved are beloved to include tickets to see his beloved Arsenal play at Watford in March and Crystal Palace the following month, collectively worth more than £2,000.
They were both declared over the 28-day deadline for MPs to declare gifts and payments they receive, under anti-corruption guidelines.
A ticket for a staff member to attend the British Kebab Awards, donated by Just Eat in October 2021, also appears to have been file late, according to Sir Keir’s list of declarations.
The parliamentary website shows the former top lawyer is being probed over potential breaches of two sections of the MPs’ rules of conduct on registering interests.
Neither Sir Keir, his team or the Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone has revealed details of the case.
Sir Keir Starmer has insisted he is confident he has not broken the MPs’ code of conduct, saying ‘there’s no problem here’.
It comes as just a quarter of people have anything good to say about the Labour leader, according to a poll.
Half of the 2,000 surveyed by JL Partners were negative, with a quarter neutral.
A ‘wordcloud’ of terms associated with Sir Keir reveals the most common was ‘boring’, with 5.3 per cent of all responses.
This was followed by ‘honest’ at 2.7 per cent, then ‘useless’, ‘weak’ and ‘bland’.
JL’s James Johnson said: ‘Voters do not associate the Labour leader with an exciting vision for the future. They often criticise him for not seeming to have any ideas.’
He added that the ‘upshot’ of being seen as boring is ‘that voters find it hard to care about even the most negative stories about him – such as his beers in Durham’.
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