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Tories cannot govern while ‘fighting like rats in a sack’, says Keir Starmer

Sir Keir will argue Labour is ready to rule (Maja Smiejkowska/PA)
Sir Keir will argue Labour is ready to rule (Maja Smiejkowska/PA)

Sir Keir Starmer will argue that the Conservatives have shredded their ability to govern the nation as their warring factions are “fighting like rats in a sack”.

The Labour leader will use a speech on Tuesday to vow that his “fundamentally changed” party is ready to rule and that he “won’t let the Tories take the country down with them”.

He will claim that it is Labour that “shares Britain’s values” as Rishi Sunak faces a possible rebellion from Tories on his embattled Rwanda policy to curb small boat crossings.

Conservatives on the right are awaiting the verdict of a “star chamber” of lawyers before deciding whether to oppose the Prime Minister’s emergency legislation because it does not seek to override international law.

But more moderate Tories are weighing up whether they can support the Bill amid concerns about compelling courts to find Rwanda is a “safe” country to send asylum seekers.

In a speech on the same day as the scheduled vote, Sir Keir is expected to say: “While they’re all swanning around self-importantly, in their factions and their ‘star chambers’, fighting like rats in a sack, there’s a country out here that isn’t being governed.”

He will argue that the Tory psychodrama is not limited to Rwanda but is “a cultural stain running through the modern Conservative Party”.

“It is time to come together, to turn the page on this miserable chapter of decline, and walk towards a decade of national renewal,” he is set to say.

Keir Starmer
Sir Keir said his party is ready to govern (Maja Smiekjkowska/PA)

“I have dragged this Labour Party back to service, and I will do the same to British politics. I won’t let the Tories drag our country down with them. We cannot and will not let them kick the hope out of our future.”

The speech is being arranged to coincide with the four-year anniversary of the general election in which Boris Johnson’s Conservatives crushed Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

But Sir Keir says his party is now “ready to serve” after a resurgence in which they are riding around 20 percentage points above the Tories in the polls.

Mr Sunak has argued that Sir Keir has no plan on migration as the Prime Minister comes under pressure over the £290 million policy that has been grounded by legal challenges.

But Sir Keir will say that Labour is “totally focused on credible solutions” to the nation’s challenges as he argues he will always spend “wisely”.

“You know that this is a party that has fundamentally changed. Not just a paint job, but a total overhaul. A different Labour Party, driven by your values. By British values.

“We’re totally focused on credible solutions to your challenges. Not empty gestures that signal our supposed political virtue.”

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden accused Sir Keir of “planning to try and block our plans to stop the boats” and of lacking “the principles needed to lead Britain”.

“As usual Keir Starmer is saying what he thinks people want to hear – yet again taking the easy way out, rather than putting forward his own credible plans,” the MP said.