Actor Maxine Peake has said that new Labour leader Keir Starmer’s support comes from a ‘lot of people’ who ‘aren’t really left wing’.
In a new interview with The Independent, the star of Fanny Lye Deliver’d was questioned about her opinion of Starmer, who took over the party reigns in April.
Peake is a longtime vocal supporter of Labour and was an outspoken backer of previous leader Jeremy Corbyn.
And she has an interesting opinion of where Starmer – who is generally considered more "centrist" or "moderate" than Corbyn – sits.
“I think people will get behind Starmer, won’t they?” Peake noted to interviewer Alexandra Pollard.
“He’s a more acceptable face of the Labour Party for a lot of people who are not really left wing”.
It’s true that Starmer has won high profile support from people who were fierce Cobyn critics and openly voted Liberal Democrat in the last election. But he also served in a prominent position in Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
Peake, who is extremely politically active, most recently organising with young people in Palestine, also had choice words for so-called Labour supporters who didn’t throw their backing behind the party in December’s trip to the polls.
“Those people who were normally Labour supporters who felt they couldn’t vote Labour?” she said, continuing:
Well I’m sorry, they voted Tory as far as I’m concerned. And it breaks my heart, because you know what? I didn’t like Tony Blair, but I still voted Labour because anything’s better than the Tories.
There’s a lot of people who should hang their heads in shame. People going, ‘Oh, I can join the Labour Party again because Keir Starmer’s there,’ well shame on you.
Peake did stress that at this point, she “doesn’t care anymore” as long as Labour clinch a victory.
“At the end of the day, all I want is the Tories out,” she said.
As long as the Tories get out, I don’t care anymore.
You can’t be sad, you’ve just got to get on and organise, without standing at the rooftops and going, ‘You reap what you sow!’
There were moments when I wanted to scream that, but no, we’ve got to keep moving forward.
Reaction to Peake’s comments has been mixed online, with social media users naturally dividing into either firmly agreeing or passionately refuting her opinion.
Could it be any other way?