Keir Starmer ‘rips up key parts of asylum policy in new Labour U-turn’ | Politics | News

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has reportedly dropped a key election pledge on asylum seekers in another policy U-turn.

After backtracking on a £28 billion green prosperity plan, Sir Keir is now reported to be going back on a promise to “end indefinite detention” of asylum seekers and “call for the closure of centres such as Yarl’s Wood”.

Yarl’s Wood is an immigration detention centre in Bedford where migrants are housed before being deported.

A Labour source is reported to have confirmed that its asylum pledge has been abandoned.

Instead, the party is now reportedly planning on going into the next general election saying it will aim to reduce the huge asylum backlog and improve conditions in detention centres so they do not have to close.

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Tory MP for Ipswich, Tom Hunt, was quick to pour scorn on Sir Keir, telling The Sun: “Sir Flippy Floppy can’t hide the truth. It’s all there for us to see.

“Not just in his pledges before becoming leader, but in his voting record in Parliament. He’s soft on illegal immigration and has always voted against any attempt to control our borders.

“The sheer scale and frequency of his U-turns has got to the point where it’s almost pointless taking seriously anything he says or any position he adopts as it’s highly likely to change within weeks. He’s devoid of principle and a backbone.”

Labour promised in 2021 to invest £28 billion a year until 2030 in green projects if it came to power, but has now rowed back on that pledge, with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves saying this figure would instead be a target to work towards in the second half of a first parliament.

The rowback sparked warnings from environmental analysts, as well as political opponents and Labour’s back benches, who said Britain is already floundering in its green initiatives compared with other nations.

But Ms Reeves, who is keen to demonstrate a firm grip on public finances, said exercising “responsibility” with borrowing should be the priority amid soaring interest rates and high inflation.

It ends an embarrassing week for Sir Keir, who tried to deflect attention away from his party’s about-faces by demanding Prime Minister Rishi Sunak call a general election after a trope of high-profile resignations, including Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries.

And ironically, after being criticised for his lack of a vertebra by Hunt, he posted the following message on his Twitter page on Saturday night (June 10): “This farce must stop. People have had enough of a shambolic Tory government and a weak Prime Minister no one voted for.

“Rishi Sunak must finally find a backbone, call an election, and let the public have their say on 13 years of Tory failure.”

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