Keir Starmer 'happy' to continue to write for The Sun despite Liverpool boycott

  • Sir Keir Starmer talking to ITV Granada Reports' Political Correspondent Andrew Misra

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer says he is happy to continue to write and work for The Sun newspaper - as he prepares for his party conference in Liverpool.

During his 2020 leadership campaign, Mr Starmer claimed he would not to speak to The Sun newspaper during a hustings in Liverpool.

He said at the time: “I certainly won’t be giving any interviews to The Sun during the course of this campaign.”

Many people in Liverpool have chosen to boycott The Sun because of a front page it printed shortly after the Hillsborough disaster.

Sir Keir Starmer is in Liverpool ahead of the Labour party conference. Credit: PA Images

When asked why he has since decided to write for the tabloid, Mr Starmer said: "I have to make sure that what we have to say is communicated to as many people as possible in the time that we've got available and that is why I am very happy to work with The Sun, to write for The Sun, to do interviews with The Sun."

Mr Starmer was challenged on whether he understood why the newspaper is boycotted by many people in Liverpool.

He said: "Of course I understand that, I was Director of Public Prosecutions when the report came in on the Hillsborough case. I met the families myself.

"When I spoke to them, some of them were only coming to terms for the first time with the full extent of what had happened and the many times they had been let down.

"But for them, for Liverpool, for the whole of the North West, the single-most important thing that I can do is to ensure we get a change of government."

Mr Starmer also ruled out reversing the decision made by the Prime Minister to cancel the remainder of HS2.

Speaking to ITV Granada Reports, the Labour leader said: "Can I stand here now and say that we would reverse the decision the prime minister took yesterday? No we can't. They've taken a wrecking ball to this project."

Rishi Sunak went against senior Tories and Northern business leaders by announcing he would scrap the HS2 leg from Birmingham to Manchester.

Mr Sunak claimed "the facts have changed" and the cost of the high-speed rail scheme had "more than doubled".

The Prime Minister came under criticism for a lack of communication with Northern leaders, before making the HS2 announcement.

When asked if Mr Starmer had spoken to local leaders in the North West, he said: "Oh yes I have, yes of course. My team's talking to Andy Burnham's team all the time."

"If you talk about Northern Powerhouse Rail it's crucial that is delivered. I've done that journey many times myself - that will only happen if we work with our mayors in different parts of the country to ensure that is delivered as soon as possible."

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