street of shame

Sun worshipper
Keir Starmer , Issue 1626

starmer-terrace.jpg
RED RAG: Keir Starmer's presence in the Sun isn't going down well in Liverpool
FULL steam ahead with Keir Starmer's wooing of the Sun, which, while remaining editorially lukewarm about Labour, is more than happy to take the party's money.

Visitors to the tabloid's website at the start of last week were bombarded with Labour adverts featuring the leader's face and urging them to "vote for change" – something that went down particularly badly with Kim Johnson, Labour's candidate in Liverpool Riverside, where residents still fiercely maintain a boycott of the Sun going back to its misreporting of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989. "The whole city will now be very disappointed," she warned her boss.

Mersey beat
When campaigning to be Labour leader four years ago, Starmer was more than happy to back the boycott, telling a Mersey crowd: "This city has been wounded by the media... I certainly won't be giving an interview to the Sun during the course of this campaign."

Like several of his other pledges, however, this was strictly time-limited to the point where he got the job. Now – for reasons of expedience, but also as part of he and his aides' obsessive determination to demonstrate how different he is from his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn – he's going all-out to smooch the Sun.

Just hours after Johnson's warning, Starmer chose to launch the Labour manifesto with a comment piece making an "iron-clad guarantee to Sun readers" not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.

What Kate did
Despite the love-bombing, however, the Murdoch title is still resisting Starmer's charms. The same day's paper carried a column by Sun on Sunday political editor Kate Ferguson on Starmer's appearance in the Sky election debate, calling him "a bit boring snoring" and "a Tony Blair tribute act".

Ferguson's political views are, of course, in no way affected by the fact that her partner is Richard "chicken run" Holden, the chairman of the Conservative party charged with so brilliantly overseeing the success of its own election campaign!

To read all these stories in full, please buy issue 1626 of Private Eye - you can subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your home every fortnight.

Next issue on sale: 4th July 2024
gnitty

More top stories in the latest issue:

GENERAL DEJECTION
The Daily Mail is resigned to a change of government, with its publisher signing a "letter to Labour's culture spokesman" about proposed BBC ads.

JOHNSON'S REMEDIES
Boris Johnson's few contributions to the election campaign, mainly via his Mail column, have been the usual mixture of untruths and dog-whistles.

BARCLAY SHUNT
The next stage the sale of the Telegraph titles remains up in the air during the election process – leaving the Barclay family with time on their hands.

FORSYTH SAGA
After a story in the last Eye about the Spectator's loss of contact with its man in Number 10, editor Fraser Nelson has taken aim at the Tories' "deceitful" tactics.

SPIN IT LIKE BECKHAM...
Ahead of publication of a potentially damaging book about them, the Beckhams' lawyer is said to have been badgering publisher HarperCollins.

RACE TO DE BOTTON
Amid negotiations over voluntary staff redundancies, the Guardian is hiring a new "chief communications officer" – Rishi Sunak's former comms director.

POST APOCALYPSE
Things are going from bad to worse for "Thirsty" Will Lewis, now CEO of the Washington Post, who is facing a serious staff revolt.

PAUL FOOT AWARD 2024
Tristan Kirk has won the Paul Foot Award for Investigative and Campaigning Journalism. See www.private-eye.co.uk/paul-foot-award

MORE WHINE?
The Daily Mail has unveiled its latest columnist, Bryony Gordon, who will be hoping her move from the Telegraph works out better than one predecessor's.

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Private Eye Issue 1626
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Deathly prose
Richard Madeley’s murderous writing reviewed

Saving the NHS
MD on the main parties’ health pledges

Right move
Suella Braverman is looking beyond the election already

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