Starmer blasted for backing policy his own spokesman slammed as ‘heinous’
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The Labour leader has been blasted by the Tories after refusing to back his own benefits spokesperson over a key left-wing policy proposal.
Last month, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, signalled a Keir Starmer Government would abolish the two-child benefit cap, a policy which he described as “heinous”.
Mr Ashworth told the Mirror that the policy, devised by former Chancellor George Osborne, is “absolutely keeping children in poverty”.
Asked by Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC this morning, however, Sir Keir insisted he wouldn’t scrap the policy.
Sir Keir said: “We are not changing that policy”.
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The comments drew criticism from the Labour leader’s own side, with Ann Black – a member of Labour’s NEC – tweeting: “This is wrong. It punishes children for the actions of their parents”.
“What has the third or fourth child done to deserve this?”
The grassroots Labour group Momentum also slammed the answer, saying: “As Jon Ashworth said, this is a heinous policy”.
“The labour movement is united behind scrapping it. But once again the Labour Leadership sides with the Daily Mail instead.”
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Now the Tories have also waded into the row, to pour salt on the Labour wound.
A party source told the Express: “Labour are hopelessly divided on welfare because they know their own instincts are at odds with the public”.
“Most voters think the two child policy is fair.”
A YouGov poll from five days ago showed 60 percent of respondents agreed the two child cap should be kept.
Just 22 percent said it should be abolished, and just 35 percent of Labour voters agreed it should be scrapped.
78 percent of Tory voters, 47 percent of Labour voters and 56 percent of Lib Dem voters all believe parents should stop receiving the benefit for their third child and beyond.
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