Keir Starmer’s ‘PM-in-waiting’ tour continues as he heads for left-wing love-in summit in Montreal with Justin Trudeau, Tony Blair and David Miliband
The Labour leader is attending the Global Progress Action Summit over the weekend alongside the Canadian premier.
It comes as Sir Keir tries to project a statesmanlike image, with potentially just a year until the crucial general election. Yesterday he travelled to The Hague to unveil a plan for tackling Channel boats crisis, and next week he is due to meet Emmanuel Macron for talks in Paris.
Tony Blair – who appears increasingly influential in Sir Keir’s circle – and former foreign secretary David Miliband are also expected at the summit in Montreal, along with former Finland PM Sanna Marin and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern.
The conference is set to discuss threats to global security such as climate change, people-smuggling and terrorism.
Keir Starmer’s (left) ‘PM-in-waiting’ tour is continuing today as he heads to Montreal for a left-wing gathering with Justin Trudeau (right)
Tony Blair – who appears increasingly influential in Sir Keir’s circle – and former foreign secretary David Miliband are also expected at the summit in Montreal
With Labour routinely recording double-digit poll leads, Sir Keir’s allies are preparing for a last push towards securing power.
Former mandarin Sue Gray has been controversially poached from the civil service to look at how to drive through the leader’s priorities if he forms a government.
However, the first leg of Sir Keir’s tour yesterday was not altogether smooth sailing, as his proposals for addressing the small boats issue were heavily criticised.
He confirmed he was willing to discuss taking an annual quota of asylum seekers from the EU in return for a returns agreement that would allow Britain to send back some Channel migrants.
But during a round of interviews to promote his blueprint, Sir Keir refused to say how many he would be willing to accept, insisting it would be a matter for negotiation.
Rishi Sunak said the final figure could top 100,000 a year if calculated on a per capita basis.
EU diplomats told The Times that the plan would not come to fruition.
‘The EU’s asylum system is broken, internal negotiations have now dragged on for more than seven years without an end in sight,’ one said.
‘There is absolutely no question of helping the UK until we have put our own house in order.
‘Starmer is deluded if he thinks that European governments, who are under much more pressure on asylum and migration than Britain, are going to come to his rescue.’
Former Finland PM Sanna Marin, who has just take a job with the Tony Blair Institute, is also due at the summit in Montreal
The first leg of Sir Keir’s tour yesterday, in The Hague, was not altogether smooth sailing, as his proposals for addressing the small boats issue were heavily criticised
Labour insists its Channel crisis plans are focused on stopping boats coming in the first place, and a returns deal is not essential.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman accused Sir Keir of turning the UK into a ‘dumping ground’ for the EU’s migrants. ‘He’ll let Brussels decide who comes to the UK,’ she said.
‘He’ll agree to make Britain the dumping ground for many of the millions of illegal migrants that Europe doesn’t want. And none of this will stop the boats.’
Speaking to reporters during a visit in Devon, the PM also condemned the idea.
‘His plans seem to amount to saying we might one day accept 100,000 EU migrants every year. That doesn’t seem like a credible plan to me to stop the boats,’ Mr Sunak said.