Keir Starmer does not rule out working with ‘reasonable’ ex-mayor Andy Street

Sir Keir Starmer declined to rule out working with Tory former West Midlands mayor Andy Street if Labour wins the General Election.

The Labour leader on Wednesday said he did not have any immediate plans to do so, but described Mr Street as “a reasonable person” and suggested his party would welcome Tory-turned-Labour voters.

Mr Street, a Conservative, had hoped to cling on in the West Midlands in the May regional elections, but was beaten by Labour challenger Richard Parker with a majority of just 1,508 votes.

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with student nurses and trainee medics during a campaign visit to Worcester (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In a statement, the former John Lewis managing director said: “Many will assume now that I am destined to go back into business.

“But I still feel I have much to contribute to public life in a leadership role, and I look forward to exploring opportunities to do just that.”

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(PA Graphics)

“I’ve not got any plans to work with him. But I thought he was a reasonable person.

“There’s a lot of reasonable people, including people who voted Conservative, even were Conservative candidates as he was, that want to see our country and our communities move forward.

“If we’re privileged to come in to serve, we will be opening an invitation to those that vote Labour and those that don’t traditionally vote Labour.”

Mr Street belongs to the One Nation wing of the Conservative Party.

In his statement, he said he still believes “strongly in my brand of moderate and inclusive conservatism and will continue to use my voice ferociously to champion that approach – whatever happens on July 4”.

Following Labour’s win in the West Midlands and a mauling for the Tories in the local elections, Mr Street warned Rishi Sunak against lurching rightwards, saying that “winning from that centre ground is what happens”.

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