Former England footballer Gary Neville took a swipe at Corbynite MPs as he endorsed Sir Keir Starmer. The ex-Manchester United defender was given a main stage spot at the Labour Party’s annual conference in Liverpool for an “in conversation” event with Sir Keir.
Neville urged Labour members to “get behind” Sir Keir as he labelled him a “serious politician” poised to be the UK’s next Prime Minister.
Speaking in front of a packed conference hall, he also used a footballing metaphor to jointly issue advice to the Labour leader.
He told footballing fan Sir Keir, who describes himself as a midfielder: “Make sure you play left of centre, you’ve got to deliver some nice passes to that left-wing as they’re a little bit noisy.”
There were huge cheers from the audience as the Mancunian took aim at the Corbynites in the party.
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Those on the Left have been critical of Sir Keir’s leadership accusing him of betraying members by putting forward more centrist policies.
Neville urged Labour members to support the party leader in his role when asked on his advice for the party at large.
He said: “I think remain laser-focused and aligned behind a single goal which is to remove this Conservative Government and put everything else aside and focus on that alone. That alone.
“Get behind Keir Starmer. He is a serious politician, someone who’s headed up a major department in the CPS, someone who is trustworthy and has integrity.
“All things that this current government don’t have.”
He added: “Not only is this current Government damaging us in our country, our relationships with our partners in Europe and around the world are broken and shattered.
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“They burned their bridges with our partners in Europe and around the world, and we need to rebuild our relationships.
“We need to rebuild our reputation and that is not going to happen under a Conservative government.”
Sir Keir told Neville there was a mood of “confidence” at the party conference and that it was “ready to deliver” in Government.
Yesterday the Labour leader said he believed the party would win the next general election.
The Labour leader told the BBC: “Something has happened in the Labour Party this year, which is the hope of a Labour government has turned into a belief in a Labour government.
“That change, that switch, is worth its weight in gold.
“If you consider where we were in 2019, to now be in a position where there’s a belief that Labour will win the next general election is real progress for our party.”
He added he had “taken the Labour Party, picked it up off the canvas, put it back on its feet, changed the party and made it face the public”.