Keir Starmer, Keir Mather, and Angela Rayner in Selby and Ainsty (Picture: Kier Starmer/Twitter)

Same name, same right wing rubbish. Keir Mather came out in support of Keir Starmer over the two‑child benefit cap—as one of his first acts as the new Labour MP for Selby and Ansty in the by-election.

Reporters asked Mather if Starmer was right to say Labour wouldn’t scrap the cap, which keeps over 200,000 children in poverty.

“I support the Labour government in that policy,” he replied.

“I think we’re going to inherit an absolute economic mess from the Conservatives when we take power, we’re going to have to make extremely difficult decisions once we do. And I support the Labour government in doing so 100 percent.”

Starmer had doubled down on his decision not to scrap the two-child benefit cap at the beginning of the week.

At an event with Tony Blair, he said, “How are you going to get business to partner alongside you? And that’s why we’re having a row over tough choices.”

“Yup,” smirked the superrich war criminal in response. And Starmer went on to say, “The next stage is where we’ve got to be even tougher.”

At prime minister’s questions the day before the by-elections, Starmer wheeled out the “magic money tree”.

He asked whether Sunak’s “uncosted spending” is “just the latest promise to fall” out of it. The “magic money tree” was one of former Tory prime minister Theresa May’s favourite lines against Jeremy Corbyn.

It’s rooted in the nonsense idea that, as Labour’s shadow minister Lucy Powell claimed last Tuesday, “There just, frankly, is no money left.”

There is plenty of wealth in Britain to give all workers inflation-busting pay rises, boost public services and the welfare state—and much more. It’s simply in the wrong hands. The top 250 richest people in Britain have amassed more than £710 billion, off the backs of ordinary people’s work. 

But Starmer is determined to show big business that a Labour government will be no threat to its wealth and power.

It’s the Labour tradition through and through.

Leaders fuming over Ulez

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are using the by-election results as an excuse to water down action on climate change. Ministers want the Tory government to ditch its wholly inadequate target of “net zero” by 2050.

It comes after the Tories clung on in the Uxbridge by-election . They were helped by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Ulez) to outer London.

The Tories have mobilised right wing opposition to Ulez. Starmer said there was “something very wrong” when a Labour policy was on “each and every Tory leaflet”. He sees this as an opportunity to further water down Labour’s climate policies.

But there are problems with Ulez. Low emissions zones tend to push traffic around, rather than reducing it. Ulez penalises working class people that own old and more polluting cars.

And, while pushing ahead with Ulez, Khan is axing bus routes and has backed the polluting Silver Town tunnel project.

Radical action is needed now for both people’s health and the planet’s future. We need a huge reduction in the number of cars. They should be replaced with an expanded public transport system that is cheap, reliable and accessible.

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