John McDonnell leads rivals mocking Keir Starmer’s ‘Sermon on Mount’ plans for Labour party

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell mocked the essay, called The Road Ahead, saying it looked like the “Sermon on the Mount written by a focus group”.

But Steve Reed, Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister, launched a defence of Sir Keir’s pamphlet on Thursday, insisting it was a direct response to voters who had lost faith in Labour at the last General Election in 2019.

“The essay he’s written…is all about making sure that if you work hard in this country you get ahead,” said Mr Reed.

“What voters have been telling Keir is that Labour hasn’t been listening to their concerns enough…what Keir’s trying to do is refocus the Labour Party on their concerns.”

Lucy Powell, Shadow Housing Secretary, tweeted: “It’s a well-written, compelling read (which I’d advise reading) making the case for profound change and what that change will look like.”

And David Lammy, Shadow Justice Secretary added: “Keir Starmer’s vision is a contribution society, which provides security and opportunity to working people right across the country.”

The pamphlet, published yesterday by the Fabian Society, sets out 10 principles which Sir Keir claims would form the basis of a new contract between Labour and the British people and proposes working more closely with the private sector – a clear break with the Jeremy Corbyn era. It describes Sir Keir’s plans to build a “contribution society: one where people who work hard and play by the rules can expect to get something back”.

“We would do things differently,” Sir Keir writes. “In order to put contribution and community at the centre of our efforts, we would build an effective partnership of state and private sector to prioritise the things that we have seen really matter: health, living conditions, working conditions and the environment.

“I want Labour to once again be Britain’s bricks and mortar – a symbol of solidity, reliability, shelter and the prospect of building something new and better.”


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