Labor has made a bold claim to be the true party of patriotism and the best of British values as four days of nationwide celebrations to mark the Queen’s platinum anniversary draw to a close on Sunday.
According to leading Labor Party figures, Boris Johnson – who was booed outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday – was no longer seen by the public as a leader who upholds Britain’s standards of integrity, decency and fairness that the country has long admired around the world. admired .
Writing in today’s time ObserverLucy Powell, the shadow secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, says that Labor is the party now standing up for beloved British institutions – including the BBC and Channel 4 – who want to undermine the Tories in their pursuit of a series of ideological ‘culture wars’ .
“Being patriotic is not something Labor has always been comfortable with,” Powell admits. “But progressive politics has been most successful and transformative when it captures Britain’s best values, nurtures our world-renowned institutions and inspires the belief that our best days are ahead, not just in the past.
“A quick overview of British politics today tells us that it is not the Conservative party that enshrines these patriotic principles, but Labor.”
Powell adds that the way Johnson was booed on Friday shows that people no longer see him as having the required standards to run the country. His refusal to resign over Partygate, despite being fined for attending a brief birthday party in Downing Street, showed that he lacked the honor and integrity held in high esteem by the British people. By contrast, Keir Starmer’s public promise to resign if he were fined was quintessentially British. The Prime Minister has repeatedly shown that he is incapable of upholding those values, and the response from the public in St Paul’s showed they know that too.”
Labor is determined to show itself as patriotic and pro-British after Jeremy Corbyn’s time as leader, when many of its traditional constituents switched to the Tories. Many frontbench Labor figures are now being filmed giving speeches to major trade unionists.
Corbyn had pushed for the abolition of the monarchy early in his time in parliament and failed to sing the national anthem at a commemoration of the Battle of Britain in 2015.
As Johnson faces a possible vote of no confidence in parliament this week at the hands of his own MPs, Labor greats have also drawn contrasts between the Queen’s dignity and the Prime Minister’s demeanor.
Long-serving Labor MP Dame Margaret Hodge said: “His disregard for truth and lack of integrity is not what Britain represents. The contrast with the Queen – especially the enduring image of her sitting alone at her husband’s funeral, with Johnson raising a glass at an unnecessary Downing Street party – couldn’t be greater.”
Former Foreign Secretary Dame Margaret Beckett said she found it “amazing” to see and hear a British Prime Minister being booed at an event to celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary on the throne. “It was mainly because, for once, it looked extremely tidy — not like the usual unmade bed.”
Beckett added that Labor had always been a patriotic party at heart, although this had recently been “eclipsed” during the Corbyn years. For the Tories, she said, it would be “dangerous” if their supporters saw through their leader’s apparent charm and instead saw someone who they saw as not falling under British decency.
Chris Bryant, the Labor MP and chair of the Commons Committee on Standards, said: “With his lies, his disregard for the truth and his clear belief that there is one set of rules for him and another for everyone else, Johnson follows our national honor through the mud.
“The patriotic thing now would be for him to resign before he does more damage.”
When MPs return to Westminster on Monday, all eyes will be on Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs. If Brady has received 54 or more letters requesting a confidence vote in Johnson, a secret ballot will be held early this week. vote to take place. Before MPs left for the four-day anniversary break, about 30 Tories had made it clear they wanted Johnson to leave and more than a dozen had been highly critical.
Last night, a leading critic said: “I’m not sure if it will happen this week, but it will happen soon. We are certainly not a million miles away.” Another leading figure said a confidence vote may not take place this week but was a “death certificate” before MPs leave for the long summer break in July.
If Johnson, who has been increasingly criticized from all parts of his party for breaking the lockdown parties in Downing Street, fails to win the support of a majority of Conservative MPs in a confidence vote, he will have to resign. as Tory leader and Prime Minister.
Asked about the fact that Johnson was booed on Friday, Starmer told PA Media on Saturday: “In many ways I wasn’t surprised about that. I think so many people across the country are tired of the government, especially its inaction on the cost of living.
He added: “A crowd will decide for itself how it wants to recognize, and they were there to recognize and thank the Queen – that was absolutely in everyone who was there.
“They’ve booed the Prime Minister, they’ve had enough of the government, but the vast majority were there to thank the Queen and in a way reflect on what she’s given our country, which is absolutely phenomenal.”