Keir Starmer, 57, rose to the top role in the Labour Party after being the Shadow Brexit Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn and was incredibly vocal on wanting a second referendum. His career in law could make him an impressive opponent for Boris Johnson during PMQs, according to the deputy director of UK in a Changing Europe, Tim Bale. The expert believes the Prime Minister will find debates with the new Labour leader much more difficult due to his former career.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Professor Bale said: “Boris Johnson, he is a very effective communicator but he’s not actually good in Parliament.
“Therefore I think he will find it quite difficult, certainly much more difficult than when he was against Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs.
“Nor was he particularly good on detail and that in some ways is Keir Starmer’s forte.
“I think Boris Johnson will find it more difficult than he would like to fob off Keir Starmer with chosen phrases.”
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Boris Johnson and the Government have faced criticism for the handling of the coronavirus pandemic
Sir Keir took on Mr Johnson this past Wednesday in their first PMQs battle.
After briefly congratulating Mr Johnson on the birth of his son, Wilfred, the Labour leader immediately turned for his first question to official figures showing the number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK is now the highest in Europe.
“That’s not success or apparent success. So can the Prime Minister tell us how on earth did it come to this?” he demanded.
Sir Keir was also quick to point out that, while the Government has just met its target to get to 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April, numbers have since fallen back.
Keir Starmer was formerly a lawyer
Undeterred, Mr Johnson came back with a new “ambition” for the Government’s “fantastic testing regime” – to crank it up to 200,000 by the end of May.
Sir Keir is currently is calling for the Government to set out the next steps for the furlough scheme, which it described as “a lifeline”.
Mr Starmer’s spokesman said: “It’s important that that scheme is in place.
“The Government does need to provide clarity about the future status of that scheme.
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“What we’ve said is that the Government should allow for greater flexibility for businesses with some staff able to semi-furlough to ensure that they do not face a cliff-edge when the scheme comes to an end.”
Mr Sunak has acknowledged the current level of expenditure is not “sustainable” in the long term but promised there will be no “cliff-edge” cut-off.
Speaking to ITV News, he said ministers were investigating ways to wind down the scheme, due to run to the end of June, in a “measured way”.
The Liberal Democrats have called for a “tapered” end to the programme, with the Treasury paying 50 percent of salaries for the first month after people return to work, falling to 30% after the third month, with employers picking up the full bill after the fourth.