Keir Starmer’s ‘soft on crime’ stance on class A drugs blasted

GB News: Breaking down Keir Starmer’s Labour policy essay

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The Labour leader was warned the approach would be a “shot in the arm” for drug dealers. Home Secretary Priti Patel used Tony Blair’s famous “tough on crime” slogan to attack Sir Keir. She said: “Drugs devastate lives. They ruin communities and tear families apart. Under Keir Starmer, Labour is weak on crime and weak on the causes of crime.” Sir Keir faced a backlash after supporting moves in Scotland to give some offenders caught with heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs a police warning.

He said it was “probably the right thing to do” and insisted there was a “world of difference” between the reform and “ripping up” drugs laws entirely.

But Prof Neil McKeganey, director of Glasgow-based Centre for Substance Use Research, warned there was a “real risk” of increased drug use. He said the policy in Scotland would give a “massive shot in the arm to drug dealers”.

He added: “Anybody now in possession of illegal drugs, up to an unspecified amount could simply claim they are a drug user, not a drug seller, although that distinction is at best vague.”

The backlash comes as Sir Keir heads to Brighton for his first full party conference as leader. But his plans to set out a new vision were set to be overshadowed by a fresh bout of internal warfare.

Last night he made a second attempt to persuade union bosses to back his bid to overhaul the party’s leadership rules. He wants to end the one- person-one-vote system that saw Jeremy Corbyn become leader in the face of opposition from Labour MPs.

But the move has proved unpopular across different wings of the party and unions rejected the proposals earlier in the week. Deputy Leader Angela Rayner is opening the conference today promising a “new deal” for workers.

She will say within the first 100 days of a Labour government, the party will legislate to launch “fair pay agreements”, starting in the social care sector.

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