Having claimed earlier in the week that would he take ‘full responsibility’ for Labour’s election results, it took until 4 p.m. for Keir Starmer to emerge and face the media on what went wrong in Hartlepool. In contrast to a jovial Johnson who got to do his piece to camera in front of a twenty foot blow up Boris with a newly-elected Tory MP in Teesside, Starmer had to do his in his London office – hardly a surprise given there were few newly gained seats for him to visit.
A grim-faced Starmer give a painful five minute long interview that reminded Mr S of Ed Miliband’s infamous ‘get round the negotiating table’ rehearsed attempts ten years ago. Attempting to sound passionate and decisive, his tone at times veered into the shouty and fraught while his answers to questions of substance were little better either.
Asked for concrete policy changes Labour will now make in response to these election results, the embattled leader told the BBC that he will ‘change the things that need changing and that is the change that I will bring about’ – whatever that means – while refusing to answer three times whether a long-briefed reshuffle of his top team is imminent.
As the interview concluded, Starmer was asked if there was anything else he wanted to add to which the former Director of Public Prosecutions quickly replied ‘Nope!’ It ended with the interviewer checking the cameraman recorded it properly, ending with her saying ‘Are you happy?’ while a surly Starmer stood there silent and forlorn.
Steerpike hopes Sir Keir improves his interview technique by the time of his next post-election inquest.