Desperate British Tories attack opposition leader39s career

Desperate British Tories attack opposition leader's career

Like an early election campaign atmosphere: the Conservatives in the United Kingdom, who are well ahead in the polls, are increasingly attacking the career of Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer, who is in the race to become the next prime minister.

As a former human rights lawyer who later worked at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for England and Wales, Keir Starmer sees his previous cases being scrutinized by the Conservatives and passed on by the conservative British media in search of possible to look for embarrassing matters.

“Are you a terrorist and looking for legal advice? Call Keir,” the Conservative Party mocked in a leaflet published on X (formerly Twitter) this week.

“If I see a group on our streets calling for jihad, I ban it. He (Keir Starmer) takes him as a customer,” Rishi Sunak told Parliament on Wednesday.

He was referring to the fact that Keir Starmer was one of the lawyers who advised the Islamist movement Hizb ut-Tahrir in the 2000s when it opposed a ban on its activities in Germany.

London has added this movement to its list of terrorist organizations, particularly because of its support for the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel.

“The whole principle of being a lawyer is that you defend all kinds of clients, even those with whom you disagree,” a Labor spokesman argued, adding that Keir Starmer did not officially represent Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Shortly before, press articles had highlighted that Keir Starmer had in the past defended a member of the IRA, the paramilitary group of the Irish Republican Army, as well as the Islamist preacher Abu Qatada, who was considered “Bin Laden's European ambassador” and extradited to Jordan in 2013 became .

27 points ahead

The Labor Party and several legal experts believe that Keir Starmer was simply applying a rule of British law that requires a lawyer to accept any work in an area in which he declares himself competent.

According to a YouGov poll released this week, the Conservatives are 27 points behind Labor in elections expected this autumn. They seem to “run out of ideas” and “not have much left to hold on to,” puts Robert Ford into perspective. , political scientist at the University of Manchester.

After 14 years in power, the Tories appear exhausted and divided, struggling to deliver on certain pre-Brexit promises, particularly around the fight against immigration and economic growth.

Britons are also experiencing a sustained purchasing power crisis not seen in decades and a deterioration in their public services, particularly in healthcare.

“Be lenient with criminals”

In the context of the cultural war against the progressive activism of a section of the Conservatives, the attacks on Keir Starmer also aim to portray him as a “left-wing lawyer” who has in the past defended unions or activists who attacked the giant McDonald's.

During his five years at the head of the prosecution, between 2008 and 2013, he attacked the unjustified expenses of parliamentarians, the hacking of journalists' phones and those responsible for the racist murder of a young black student that deeply shocked the country.

Functions for which he was knighted in 2015.

But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who made a fortune in finance before entering politics, accused his main opponent of being “soft on criminals” and nicknamed him “Sir Softie.” “Monsieur Mou”).

Keir Starmer defended himself this week, admitting that mistakes may have “of course” been made during his time leading the prosecution but that his opponents would find “nothing damning or skeletons in the cupboards”.

For Tim Bale, professor of political science at Queen Mary University of London, this strategy against Keir Starmer will not resonate with voters: “It is unlikely that personal attacks will be able to obscure the economic problems, in particular “plaguing this government” is the state of the economy and the national health system.