Keir Starmer, MP for Uxbridge, says Labour must learn from its by-election defeat.

Labour must learn from its by-election setback in Uxbridge, according to Sir Keir Starmer.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn blamed the defeat on London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposals to increase the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez), a polluting vehicle tax.

Conservative Steve Tuckwell won the seat after running an anti-tax campaign.

Sir Keir told Labour’s national conference that there was “something very wrong” when a Labour policy was on “every and every Tory leaflet.”

While a by-election triumph in North Yorkshire’s Selby and Ainsty should give Labour “every reason to be confident,” he said, the loss of Boris Johnson’s former seat in Uxbridge demonstrated that there is “still a long way to go.”

“That result in Uxbridge demonstrates that there is never any reason to be complacent and never a reason to rest on our laurels,” Sir Keir said at the Nottingham event.

“We have to face that and learn the lesson,” he remarked.

Khan backs Ulez following criticism of Starmer in the by-election.

Sunak insists that Labour does not have a lock on power.

Chris Mason: Conservatives get no solace from a disastrous election night

Labour’s Keir Mather, 25, won the North Yorkshire election on Thursday, defeating a 20,137 majority to become the country’s youngest sitting MP.

However, the Conservatives retained the former prime minister’s Uxbridge seat, generating controversy about both parties’ environmental policies.

Sir Keir told the BBC that the Ulez proposal cost Labour the election, but Mr Khan defended it as the “right one.”

Mr Tuckwell, the winning candidate, claimed that Labour’s “damaging and costly Ulez policy” cost them the seat.

Some Conservatives on the right believe that abandoning some green programs would be popular with voters at a time when households are facing cost-of-living concerns.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, has proposed delaying a proposal to ban the sale of new diesel and gasoline vehicles for “at least” five years, to 2035.

According to Downing Street insiders, there are no plans to revise climate targets, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will aim to differentiate his party from Labour in the coming months.

As the major parties digest the by-election results, ex-environment minister Lord Ian Duncan, a Conservative, cautioned that people will face “serious challenges” if Sir Keir and Rishi Sunak do not put politics aside and agree on a shared approach to climate change.

Lord Duncan, the parliamentary under secretary for climate change from July 2019 to February 2020, said both parties needed to take a “bipartisan approach” to “get behind” consensus climate policy.

Politicians may gain votes in the short term by opposing strong climate legislation, but “in the medium term, I’m not even talking long term anymore,” he said, “there will be serious challenges and changes to our climate that will affect people in their everyday lives.”

However, Lord Duncan, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, stated that the difficulty is to ensure that climate policy does not penalize people “beyond their ability to pay.”

“We’ve got to make sure it’s a transition and it works for everybody,” he said, referring to cleaner technology such as new gas boilers.

Nobody should be left behind or poor as a result of these policies, he says, “or else it will be a problem for democracy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *