Gary Neville to campaign with Keir Starmer as Labour leader turns to ex England and Man Utd star to revive his fortunes

GARY Neville is set to campaign alongside Sir Keir Starmer as the Labour leader bids to boost his election chances.

The ex Man Utd and England footballer will appear at several events amid claims he’s readying to stand for Parliament.

Getty
Gary Neville is set to campaign alongside Sir Keir Starmer[/caption]
AFP
He will appear alongside the Labour leader at several events[/caption]

Party insiders believe the former Three Lions star turned pundit could help tip the balance in a future race for No 10.

Mr Neville, 47, will be significantly upping his involvement in Labour campaigning according reports from City AM.

He featured alongside Sir Keir at a fundraising event in Manchester last week and is set to make more appearances in the months ahead.

A Labour source said: “They were very relaxed around each other on stage – they seem to have a really nice relationship.

“We’re really pleased he’s a member and that he wants to use his membership … but there have not been any talks with him about standing as an MP.”

It has been reported Sir Keir believes the former footballer could be a powerful campaigning voice and would back him standing for Parliament.

Mr Neville announced he’d become a Labour member for the first time in January and hinted he’d be open to a new career in politics.

The former right back turned left-winger wants to help drag the party back to the centre and hasn’t ruled out a run for Manchester Mayor.

But he suggested that he’s unlikely to target becoming an MP in future because he’d get “eaten alive” at Westminster.

The 46-year-old, who was capped 85 times for the Three Lions and is now a TV pundit, made the remarks in a BBC interview earlier this year.

Labour MPs lined up to welcome him to the party’s ranks and said they’re “looking forward to helping” him make an impact.

Mr Neville, an outspoken critic of Boris Johnson, was asked on a BBC podcast whether he’d consider a full tilt at politics.

He said: “I say to myself sometimes I’m able to communicate, I know what I want, I have got a business mind, I can manage people in respect of businesses.

“But I just think I’d get eaten alive. I don’t know what Whitehall is like, Westminster is like.

“I can only imagine what you have to do there to survive and I don’t play the game, so how can I get in?

“So when I ask myself the question do you want to dip your toes in, I can’t dip my toes in because I’m all or nothing. I go in and I’m going in.”

I do believe we need a progressive Labour Party, but one that not just looks after what would be the left side of the party, it has to come towards the centre

Gary Neville

He then added: “I have joined in the last few days the Labour Party. That is purely for myself, I want to support Labour.

“I do believe we need a progressive Labour Party, but one that not just looks after what would be the left side of the party, it has to come towards the centre.”

Pressed by presenter Nick Robinson on whether that would mean running for public office, he replied: “I don’t know at the moment.”

He then added: “No, I’ll just continue to do this I think. People would say why are you using your influence to try and turn people?

“Actually at this moment in time I’d go more quiet if this current regime that’s in left.

“They’re very damaging to the standards that we have in this country and around the world.”

The former Premier League player has been a repeat critic of the PM and in December described him as “the worst kind of leader” who “lacks integrity”.

Mr Neville isn’t the first member of England’s “golden generation” to consider entering into politics.

Back in 2015 former Tottenham defender Sol Campbell announced his intention to run as the Tory candidate for London Mayor.

But in the end he wasn’t shortlisted for the contest to succeed Boris Johnson, which was won by Labour’s Sadiq Khan.



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