Sir Keir Starmer Appears to Drop Two Leadership Pledges, Denies ‘Inconsistency’


Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has seemingly abandoned two more of his previous pledges, leading to accusations of inconsistency. However, he firmly denies any inconsistency with his position.

Backing US-UK Air Strikes

Last week, Sir Keir Starmer expressed support for the US-UK air strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which were carried out without a vote in Parliament. This appears to contradict one of his leadership pledges from 2020, where he promised to pass a law that would require the consent of the Commons for military action.

Clarifying his position in an interview with the BBC, Starmer stated that he only meant a vote would be necessary if the UK were to deploy ground troops. He emphasized the distinction between recent operations and sustained military campaigns involving troops on the ground.

While he still supports the principle of giving MPs a vote before deploying ground forces, he indicated that the method of codifying this principle could be through means other than legislation. "It could be by a law, it could be by some other means," he explained.

Reviewing Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Sir Keir Starmer also appeared to backtrack on another commitment made in 2020, which was to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to concerns about their use in the Yemen civil war. He stated that while he remains committed to reviewing all arms sales, he would not definitively commit to banning sales to the Saudis.

According to Starmer, a review of the situation will provide the answers to questions regarding arms sales to Saudi Arabia. His remarks may not sit well with MPs on the left of his party, who have already expressed discontent with his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Addressing Concerns

Sir Keir Starmer has faced criticism from some within his party for allegedly reneging on pledges made during his leadership campaign. He has attributed these shifts in position to changes in the country's circumstances, such as the Ukraine war and the ongoing Covid pandemic.

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