Starmer’s Labour a “good, natural fit” for hard-right defected Tory

  • Post last modified:May 9, 2024
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Another Conservative Party MP – Natalie Elphicke – has defected to the Labour Party and again Keir Starmer welcomed a Tory MP with open arms. Labour chair Anneliese Dodds also said Elphicke was a “good, natural fit” for the party.

Starmer and Elphicke: peas in a pod?

At the same time, Starmer has purged his left-wing predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from the party, stating he will not stand as a Labour MP.

That’s after Corbyn stood up against the antisemitism smear campaign against him. The former Labour leader represented a threat to both business as usual and imperialist foreign policy.

It’s the second defection of a Tory MP in less than two weeks after former Conservative health minister Dan Poulter joined Labour.

MPs can simply ‘cross the floor’ without triggering a by-election, despite voters opting for the opposing party in that seat.

In her defection statement, Elphicke said Labour had “changed out of all recognition” under Starmer.

Starmer said he was “delighted” Elphicke now sits on the Labour benches. That’s quite the statement.

“Heartwarming stuff”

People condemned Starmer on social media:

Holocaust survivor Stephen Kapos resigned from Labour in January 2023 after facing expulsion if he spoke at a Holocaust Memorial Day meeting organised by a left-wing group.

The Socialist Labour Network – banned by Labour – points out that accusations of antisemitism were exaggerated to smear Corbyn.

An academic analysis of media reporting on Labour and antisemitism found the coverage to be a “disinformation paradigm”.

That doesn’t mean there’s never been antisemitism in Labour under Corbyn – but that it was blown out of proportion:

Upon Starmer overseeing his expulsion from the party, veteran film maker Ken Loach said:

Labour HQ finally decided I’m not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled. Well… I am proud to stand with the good friends and comrades victimised by the purge. There is indeed a witch-hunt… Starmer and his clique will never lead a party of the people. We are many, they are few. Solidarity.

This Tory MP’s views are a match for Starmer

Under Starmer’s leadership, it’s increasingly difficult to separate Labour and Tories like Elphicke. Especially when they literally defect to the party.

Take Elphicke’s stance on climate change, where she has predominantly voted against measures to prevent it. In February, her new party leader Starmer dropped his £28bn per year investment pledge in green energy.

Or there’s Elphicke’s record on workers’ rights. The MP for Dover consistently voted for more restrictive measures on trade union activity. When challenged on such a record, Eliphicke took aim at “odious… hard left militants”.

Starmer, meanwhile, is facing accusations of “betrayal” from Unite after watering down pledges on workers’ rights.

Elphicke has also consistently voted against higher taxes on banks. In a similar vein, while speaking to City A.M. in 2022, Starmer ruled out higher taxes on banking profits.

Elphicke and Starmer both demonise refugees. Elphicke has suggested refugees are terrorists who bring “violent protest” to British streets, while Starmer has spent Prime Minister’s Questions trying to flank Rishi Sunak from the right – pressing him on ‘stopping the boats’.

The Labour leader has also mirrored the Tories on the military – pledging the same increase in spending to 2.5% of GDP, costing billions.

So it’s no wonder Elphicke has found a new home in Labour. Tory defections show Starmer has changed Labour back into a Tony Blair- like party of the establishment.

Featured image via Daily Express – YouTube

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