SIR Keir Starmer once boasted that he supported the “abolition of the monarchy,” a newly unearthed video has revealed.
It comes after a leaked report urged Labour to become more patriotic in a bid to win more voters.
The Opposition leader was caught on camera in 2005 discussing the irony of being appointed a Queen’s Counsel – a senior barrister – for a film about a court case he was involved in.
The clip, unearthed by the Guido Fawkes blog, shows the then 39-year-old human rights lawyer saying: “I got made a Queen’s Counsel, which is odd since I often used to propose the abolition of the monarchy.”
Mr Starmer’s views of the Monarchy appear to have changed since, with him accepting a knighthood in the New Year Honours list after five years as Director of Public Prosecutions.
In the same year, he was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) – in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles.
And Mr Starmer also made clear he did not want to abolish the monarchy when the issue was raised in the Labour leadership election last year, saying he would instead like to “downsize it”.
Meanwhile, Sir Keir’s spokesman was forced to insist the Labour leader “believes in the monarchy” after leaked plans revealed Labour wants to rebrand itself as the party of patriotism.
A report said Keir Starmer must use the Union Flag, as well as veterans and events such as Remembrance Day to win back voters in the party heartlands.
The explosive report, seen by The Guardian, said: “The use of the flag, veterans, dressing smartly at the war memorial etc give voters a sense of authentic values alignment.”
It also warned Sir Keir that voters want him to “stop sitting on the fence” and come up with some policy ideas of his own.
Sir Keir’s spokesman said the Labour leader is a “proud patriot” who “believes in the monarchy”.
He said the Queen and her family have been a “beacon of hope” during the pandemic.
But Labour MP Clive Lewis said that by embracing the flag the party was pandering to the hard right.
He said: “It’s not patriotism; it’s Fatherland-ism. There’s a better way to build social cohesion than moving down the track of the nativist right.”
And Tory MPs in the old Red Wall seats said it would take more than flying a few flags to lure supporters back.
Tory MP Dehenna Davison, whose constituency of Bishop Aukland was rock-solid Labour since the 1930s before she won it in 2019, slammed Labour.
She said: “If Labour think a few flags are going to help them win back seats in the Blue Wall, then they are seriously deluded.
“The fact the Labour Party has had to run extensive focus groups to come up with this idea shows just how out of touch they are with the very people who used to be their core voters.
“These are people who have pride in our country, who fly the Union Jack at times of national celebration, and who have the utmost regard for our veterans.”