“Keirism” needs to be defined – or others will define the Labour leader, says Clive Lewis

“Keirism” and the Labour leader himself need to be defined – or others will define Keir Starmer and his project, backbench Labour MP Clive Lewis has warned.

Asked by the BBC whether he had heard enough on policy and the party’s future direction, Lewis replied: “No, but not on policy, and I don’t expect to because it’s the first 100 days.

“I think on policy, we’ll wait to see and we’ll do that a little bit closer to 2024. I think the issue of the direction of the party is one that is up in the air at the moment.

“If you went and spoke to people around Keir’s team, off the record, they would probably say, look, he needs to define himself and define Keirism… with a bit more detail.”

He added that this further definition of ‘Keirism’, with “broad themes” and “red lines”, “needs to be done because if you don’t, other people begin to define you or try to define you, and that’s already happening.”

Lewis added that some may want the new Labour leader not to back a “transformative” economic plan and only “go where the public are now” to “bring in Tory floating voters, those Red Wall voters”.

The former shadow Treasury minister said he disagreed with that strategy, adding: “I think the job of a Labour leader is also to build alliances with other groups in civil society and lead the change…

“This system is broken, look at it. And I think that’s his job. I’d like to hear more about that – and I think we will – but, you know, sooner rather than later.”

While Lewis was appearing on Politics Live, Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds joined an Institute for Government event in which she made clear that Labour was not proposing any tax increases at this time.

Dodds did not commit to a 2030 decarbonisation target, though it has received the backing of Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband, instead saying that emissions reduction should be accelerated as soon as possible.

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