Sir Keir Starmer favours “new political consensus” with power and wealth “devolved from Westminster”

Published by Scott Challinor on January 27th 2020, 11:11am

Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer will make the case for a “new political consensus” in East London on Monday, having said ahead of his speech that the “monopoly of power” in Westminster must end.

Sir Keir has said that a new political system “built on the principle of federalism” could be the key to redistributing "power, wealth and opportunity away from Whitehall and Westminster", as well as addressing the “underlying causes” of the British public’s decision to leave the EU.

Federalism would give the devolved parliaments equal power to the central government in Westminster, to which they are currently subordinate.

Sir Keir told BBC Radio Four that one of the key issues behind Brexit was a sentiment of taking back control and bringing “power and influence and decision making closer” to the British people, and that his vision of redistributing power to the devolved governments would help address this.

He added that ignoring such issues would “risk watching the break-up of the United Kingdom”, with a “vacuum” left for nationalism to occupy and take hold.

The shadow Brexit secretary said he was "making the case for the future of the United Kingdom with a different political consensus, where we devolve that power and opportunity and wealth away from Whitehall and Westminster".

Elsewhere, the Unite trade union confirmed its endorsement of Sir Keir's leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey as its favoured candidate last Friday.

Long-Bailey now needs just one more union or affiliate body to back her by February 14 to make the final ballot alongside Sir Keir and Lisa Nandy. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is the other candidate hoping to make the cut.

Long-Bailey is another in the running to succeed Jeremy Corbyn who has called for parliaments in Scotland and Wales to be as “autonomous and independent” as possible, without going as far as suggesting federalism as a solution.

Long-Bailey is quoted as saying at an earlier hustings: "When we devolved power to Scotland and Wales they were never meant to be a satellite government with Westminster being the king and them being servile under the bottom. 

"They were meant to be on an equal footing. That's what we need to push forward for.”

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
January 27th 2020, 11:11am

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