Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer rallies the Labour troops in York

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer was in town today.

The shadow Brexit secretary was at York Railway Institute with the city’s two Labour hopefuls, York Central candidate Rachael Maskell, and Anna Perrett who is running for York Outer.

Mr Starmer said the campaign in seats like York Outer – which has been held by Conservative Julian Sturdy since 2010 – is important for the party, writes Chloe Laversuch, local democracy reporter.

He said:

  • It’s key and we have an excellent candidate in Anna who’s battling hard. In these key marginals the battle matters and that can really change things.

    We’d love to do really well there and that’s what we’re fighting for and we have started by putting in a really excellent candidate.

    We want to build on the York Central constituency where Rachael has been a fantastic MP and I think people in York and across the country recognise that she’s been a brilliant member of Parliament and we want to get her re-elected so she can continue that great work.

He took questions from an audience of York Labour supporters about issues including housing, schools, the health service and Brexit.

But speaking about an interview between Jeremy Corbyn and Andrew Neil broadcast the evening before the visit, in which Mr Corbyn was asked four times whether he would like to apologise for the way the Labour party deals with anti Semitism claims, Mr Starmer said: “It was a tough interview. Interviews with Andrew Neil are always tough. I thought Jeremy gave really good answers but it was tough – there’s no getting away from that.

“I’m not afraid to say sorry for the way we’ve handled these cases and I and others will redouble our efforts to make sure that we improve.”