I won't be the next Liz Truss, says Sir Keir Starmer to Labour rebels as civil war erupts over benefits | The Sun

SIR Keir Starmer last night warned he risked being the next Liz Truss if he caved to rebel demands on welfare.

Labour has been plunged into civil war after the party leader pledged to keep the two-child benefit cap if he becomes PM.

Backbench critics last night ramped up their attacks while a top mayor demanded the policy be scrapped as soon as possible.

But defiant Sir Keir said the doomed mini-Budget showed the danger of making uncosted spending pledges.

He said: “Liz Truss tried unfunded commitments. And she proved that if you go down that route, you lose control of the economy.”

The Labour chief vowed he would not let his government “get anywhere near the equivalent”.


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Sir Keir appeared to quell a frontbench revolt as a rumoured ambush from within his top team failed to materialise.

Instead he told his shadow cabinet: “I will not let an incoming Labour government lose control of the economy because I know what it will do to working people.

“Tough choices is not a sound bite. We're going to have to take them. Without them, we don't get to the next stage.”

He added: “Simply saying we’re a bold reforming government doesn’t deliver us a bold reforming government – otherwise we’d have had Labour governments permanently.”

His welfare spokesman Jonathan Ashworth – who recently called the two-child cap “heinous” – rowed in behind the leader as did Lisa Nandy and Pat McFadden.

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But the infighting continued to rage as party MP Stella Creasy said keeping the limit – introduced by George Osborne – would “cost more than what it is saving”.

Former leader Jeremy Corbyn said many Labour MPs were “seething” that Sir Keir had committed to keep the Tory-imposed measure.

And Labour Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the party must look at binning the cap once the economic circumstances allow.

He said: “I would encourage the shadow cabinet and Keir to keep this under review. As and when there is the headroom to do something, this is clearly should be at the front of the queue.”

Scrapping the two-child limit is estimated to cost the government around £1.7billion.

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell yesterday insisted “there is no money left” to do this – coining the notorious phrase from Gordon Brown’s outgoing Treasury chief.

Tory MPs last night gleefully seized on the chaos consuming Labour over the policy.

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Deputy chair Lee Anderson said: “Keir’s only policy is one of ours. The two-child benefit cap is fair on the tax paying public.

“I had two kids because that's all I could afford. It was my job to feed and clothe them, not the tax paying workers of our country.”

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