However, it wasn’t Starmer’s words that got people talking – more the fact that he had decided to write for the very same paper that he so publicly criticised last year.
It’s worth nothing that Starmer didn’t say during the 2020 event that he would never speak to the Sun – at the time, he clearly only specified “during the course of this campaign”.
However, people still felt the move was “dishonest” and didn’t shy away from saying so.
Critics felt particularly aggrieved by the fact Starmer had made the original comments while in Liverpool, where the newspaper has been boycotted by many residents for its coverage of the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
Three of his own party were among those who criticised the decision, with Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside Kim Johnson saying Starmer had “betrayed” Merseyside:
My statement today, responding to Keir Starmer writing for The S*n. My solidarity especially with the families of… https://t.co/EGmXsYZh7e
Meanwhile, the Spirit of Shankly Supporters’ Union said is was “a kick in the teeth for the collective struggle against this publication with its disregard towards families and survivors of Hillsborough, football fans and the City of Liverpool.”
Others, however, said they understood why Starmer had written the op-ed:
Keir Starmer has to appeal to the country. If that’s talking to The Sun, so be it. #GTTO