The Labour leader has dragged Boris Johnson over the coals over the Owen Paterson scandal, saying the Prime Minister is “trashing our democracy”. However, a former Labour MP said Sir Keir has some “brass neck” and noted his attempts to overturn the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall from 1989 to 2019, took to Twitter to skewer the Labour leader for his attacks on the Government.
She said Sir Keir has some “brass neck”, and pointed out his history in attempting to stop the UK leaving the EU.
He was previously seen as a major supporter of a second referendum and a prominent anti-Brexit politician.
The Baroness said: “How has Keir Starmer the brass neck to talk about Gov trashing democracy when he personally was responsible for the Labour Party trying to trash the democratic vote of the British public to leave the EU and reneging on the promise to honour the result?”
On Sunday, Sir Keir told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that he wanted to “make Brexit work” and under no circumstances rejoin the European Union.
In his interview on the BBC, the Labour leader ruled out campaigning to rejoin the EU or “ripping up” the current deal, and instead pushed for “sensible adjustments” to be made to improve what is in place.
Sir Keir also warned the Government against invoking Article 16, saying that suspending parts of Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal will not resolve the dispute with EU.
The Labour leader explained: “It’s all very well saying get Brexit done, we’ve got to make Brexit work.
“In order to do that, we have got to deal with some of the gaps and weaknesses in the current arrangements.”
Sir Keir told Nick Ferrari in 2018: “I voted Remain last time, and I’d vote Remain again.”
While Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir was appointed as shadow Brexit secretary in 2016.
He said on September 25, 2018, that calls for a second referendum on Brexit “must be an option”.
In June 2020, the Labour Together report on the 2019 election concluded that the second referendum policy was a major contributor to the Party’s defeat “by a country mile”.
The Labour leader has also been outspoken against Boris Johnson for “damaging our democracy” over the Owen Paterson sleaze row”.
Sir Keir said in an emergency debate on Monday: “We will not stand by while he trashes our democracy.
“The Prime Minister should have told Mr Paterson that the right thing to do was accept his punishment. His duty of care and basic decency demanded that.
“Instead the British people were let down, and Mr Paterson was let down – used in an extraordinary attack on our commissioner for standards.”
Mr Paterson was found by Kathyrn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, to have committed an “egregious case of paid advocacy”, and recommended a 30-day suspension.
A planned yes-no vote on Mr Paterson’s suspension was superseded by Tory MP Dame Andrea Leadsom’s amendment to establish a new, Tory-led, committee to reconsider both Mr Paterson’s case and whether a new standards system is needed.
The Government passed the amendment by 250 to 232 votes, but climbed down on plans for a Tory-dominated committee to rewrite the conduct rules.
Chris Bryant, chairman of the Committee on Standards which oversaw the case, told The Sun after Wednesday’s vote: “This is a terribly dark day for democracy.
“The rule of law means we don’t change the rules to protect a friend or attack a foe. That is what Russia does — not Britain.”
Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain, who secured the three-hour emergency debate, said ahead of it Wednesday’s events were “just the latest example of political cronyism and corruption”.
She cited “dodgy” Covid contracts and Mr Johnson’s luxury Marbella holiday paid for by Zac Goldsmith, a Tory donor.