Yet, as Sir Keir prepares for Labour’s conference and the biggest gathering of party members since he succeeded Jeremy Corbyn in April 2020, he does so at a time when the country is bracing itself for a ‘winter of discontent’ as energy and food supplies become increasingly disrupted.
And while the ritual mocking of Ministers will prove irresistible to the more gleeful members of Labour’s front bench, it could be counter-productive with the country at a large when hard-pressed families are hoping for constructive opposition at this time.
What voters want to know, however, is how an incoming Labour government, headed by Sir Keir and Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, would actually address myriad challenges like the energy crisis, social care funding and levelling up without putting the public finances in greater peril.
That should be the primary purpose of Labour in the coming days rather than internal wrangling about potential rule changes for future leadership elections – an issue that Sir Keir would not have sought to raise if he was heading to Brighton in a position of political strength and regarded more widely as a Prime Minister in waiting.
That Sir Keir is not in this position, given the tumult over Brexit, Covid and Boris Johnson’s trustworthiness, is indicative of the size of the task still facing Labour ahead of the next election.
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