Steerpike Steerpike

Sadiq turns up the pressure on Starmer over Brexit


All is not well in Labour land. After last week’s row over Ulez, the dispute between Sadiq Khan and Keir Starmer shows no sign of relenting. This time, the casus belli is, surprise, surprise, Brexit. In a veiled swipe at his boss, Khan criticised the UK’s policy towards Europe in comments to (who else?) the New York Times – the biggest Brit-bashers this side of the Baltic.

In an article, titled ‘In the U.K, a Disaster No One Wants to Talk About’ Khan chimed in with his two pennies’ worth to the world’s worst newspaper. The Mayor moaned how: ‘I’m frustrated that no one’s talking about it’ and described Brexit as ‘the elephant in the room’, urging the UK to forge closer trade and immigration ties with the bloc. It’s a stark contrast to Starmer’s Brexit policy, which, he says, is focused upon leaving behind ‘arguments of the past.’ 

Instead, Starmer’s focus for the present seems to be on Ulez, where he has been putting some not-so-subtle pressure on Khan. His team have been accusing of briefing that the Mayor would ‘rethink’ the policy, which is accused of costing Labour the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election. The Mayor though seems unrepentant. Only last week he said Ulez was a ‘tough decision, but the right one.’ For a supposed government-in-waiting, having their two most senior elected politicians at loggerheads is not a good look.

Talk about Labour pains…

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in