Bristol news Keir Starmer speaks in Bristol about housing and Kill the Bill protests PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Labour Party leader has endorsed Marvin Rees for re-election
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Sir Keir Starmer has voiced his support for Bristol's Kill the Bill movement, claiming the government has "completely lost its priorities" with the controversial proposal. Speaking to Bristol Live while on the campaign trail with Bristol mayor Marvin Rees today (Thursday, April 8), the Labour Party leader said people are right to stand up against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. However, he doubled down on his criticism of the violence that erupted during the city's March 21 protest, which descended into rioting. While there has been action to Kill the Bill nationally, Bristol has seen more than most with the sixth protest in just over two weeks taking place yesterday. 'People should speak up' Speaking while visiting Easton this afternoon, Sir Keir said: "You have a 300-page bill that said lots of things about 10-year sentences for those who damage statues or a memorial, and said nothing about protecting women and girls. "If ever there was an example of a government that has completely lost its priorities, that bill is it. "I have no concern about anybody speaking up or protesting about that bill in the slightest - people should speak up against the bill, because the bill is wrong. "But I will never accept the link between that and violence." He said the Bill was an opportunity to crack down on violence against women and girls, which has particularly hit home in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard. However, although Labour voted against the Bill, he said that was no excuse for violence during the rioting. 'No debate about riots' The Labour leader added: "When anybody resorts to burning a police van, or attacking a police station, [they are] incapable of justifying those actions - there's no debate to be had. "There is no link to being against the Bill and exercising freedom of protest, and burning a police van. There is no link and that's why I said straight away that it was unjustified, and I absolutely stand by that." Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tours construction works at The Boat Yard in Bristol (Image: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images) Asked about the allegations of police using unnecessary force to disperse protesters, he said it is right for police to review any such incidents and ensure they are operating to high standards. He added: "I've been pleased to see that the more recent protests have been much more peaceful and the relationship between the police and community is something the chief constable has been working hard to build." The politician joined Mayor Rees today on the campaign trail, endorsing him for re-election come May 6. They visited the under-construction Boat Yard housing site near Totterdown Bridge, as well as locations in Easton and Southville. Mayor Rees agreed that violence has no place in the efforts to oppose the Bill. 'Bristol was setting a global standard' He added: "It's been a badge of pride for me as Mayor of Bristol to look at what's been a very challenging year - particularly when you look at the Colston statue - and being able to join forums with mayors around the world and look at how we came through that without the city descending into chaos. Bristol mayor Marvin Rees joined Sir Keir Starmer for the tour of Bristol (Image: Finnbarr Webster/ Getty Images) "When people engaged in violence, they took that from us as a city. We were setting a global standard, and they took that from us.
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." Regarding the use of police force, he added: "I've had personal assurance from senior officers that police actions will be looked into, and where anyone fell short, people will be held accountable for that. "Our chief constable set out not just to think about what happens in a moment in time, but the quality of relationships that come out of any interaction with the police."
'Marvin has my full support' Sir Keir visited several Bristol locations today, including Felix Road Adventure Playground in Easton, and he was later spotted in Southville. He said "Marvin has delivered for Bristol" and that he "has my full support, 100 per cent". The party leader added: "We've been working together for years - when things happen in Bristol, the first thing I do is get on the phone to Marvin so that he can tell me what the local situation is.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tours construction works at The Boat Yard in Bristol
(Image: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
"He always understands what the people of Bristol and communities in Bristol think about a situation. "I think the most important thing an incumbent mayor can say, going into an election, is 'look at what I've done'. "Whilst Marvin has been mayor there have been 9,000 or so houses built, and the number of affordable houses has tripled. "That's an incredible record, and that's just on housing." When asked about the missed affordable housing targets, Sir Keir said the number of homes built so far is an "incredible achievement" and that the number of affordable homes has been tripled. Follow our dedicated page for more local election coverage He said: "Marvin is on course to meet the targets that he set - that is delivery, and that is despite covid and despite Brexit. "I think any fair-minded person will say that is delivery. "I'm very struck by the fact that when I walked around in Easton, unprompted, people were coming up to me and Marvin to say thank you for your work on affordable housing." Mayor Rees said his feedback from people in the house-building industry is that the city's reputation around housing has been "transformed". He referred to UK-first projects in Bristol such as the Hope Rise pod homes and IKEA's new BoKlok housing development in Knowle West.
Early designs and timeline for new 150-home housing estate revealed
'Bristol has punched below its weight for decades' The incumbent mayor added: "Bristol is a city that, for decades, has punched below its weight. "There's a long history in this city of people saying any success in Bristol has been despite itself. "This is about the city really growing up and city leadership catching up with the potential of the city." He will contest the local election against other mayoral candidates including the Green Party's Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Liberal Democrat's Caroline Gooch, Independent John Langley and Conservative hopeful Alastair Watson.
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