Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says party must 'rebuild red wall' in Lancashire on visit to county
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer spoke about "re-building the red wall" across East Lancashire while on a visit to the area today ahead of the forthcoming local elections.
On a visit to Rawtenstall where he met local party members, Sir Keir spoke to the Burnley Express about the need for his party to regain their traditional North-West strongholds, including Burnley, which in 2009 booted out Labour in favour of the town's first Conservative MP for generations.
Visiting with deputy leader Angela Rayner, who herself visited Burnley last week, Sir Keir said Labour needed to listen to disaffected working-class voters from East Lancashire who had deserted the party in droves at the last general election in December, 2019.
"We have to listen to them," Sir Keir said.
"I've been frustrated by the coronavirus pandemic because it hasn't allowed me to get out and meet people, and ask them what they want.
"There's no getting away from the fact that we lost very badly in December, 2019, but we are now under new leadeship. Our priorities are the same as they have always been with the working class, but we have to re-connect and rebuild trust."
Sir Keir, who formerly headed up the Crown Prosecution Service, represents Holborn and St Pancras in London, said he was not out of touch with ordinary people in the North West, and added that he had worked alongside people from the region in his role at the CPS.
"There are a lot of wealthy parts in my constituency, but there is also great poverty. The thing with Labour is that we always field very good local candidates in local elections whose politics are rooted in their community."