FILMMAKER Ken Loach has launched a new attack on Labour leader Keir Starmer, branding him “treacherous and dishonest”.

The 85-year-old socialist, who was expelled from the party earlier this year because he refused to “disown those already expelled”, heavily criticised Labour’s current direction in an interview with Greek daily newspaper Ta Nea.

The I, Daniel Blake filmmaker had been a member of Labour since the 1960s – leaving for a period under Tony Blair’s leadership – but said being kicked out now made him feel “relieved”.

At the time of his expulsion, Labour said they would not comment on individual cases but added: “The NEC took the decision to proscribe a number of organisations at its last meeting.”

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“It is a badge of honour to be expelled by or to leave a party that has become a parody of a left party and now stands firmly with the interests of capital and business,” Loach told the Athens-based newspaper.

He referred to Starmer’s insistence this week that Labour is now the party of business – something which was previously said by former prime minister Tony Blair.

The National:

“Sometimes our party has come across as thinking that business is to be tolerated in some way but not to be celebrated as a good in itself,” Starmer said after Monday’s CBI conference. “That mindset has changed under my leadership and under [shadow chancellor] Rachel Reeves.”

Loach gave his verdict on that position. “[Labour are] now standing for the interests of business and that means they stand against the interests of the working class. So, it's like ending an abusive relationship; it’s a great relief,” he said.

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He was asked if Starmer could be described as a “sort of Blair in disguise”, to which he agreed but with caveats.

“Blair had a certain attractiveness,” Loach suggested. “He presented himself as this bright young man, you know, leading the way to a golden future. Starmer is a dull man. He’s tedious beyond words. He doesn't have the superficial attraction of Blair. He's dull, he's treacherous and dishonest.”

Speaking earlier this week, Starmer set out Labour’s stance on the Conservative government’s treatment of firms. He suggested his party opposes the level of tax faced by companies, suggesting this had “held back” some businesses.

“The reason we oppose the Government’s tax rises now is because business said us ‘as we come out of the pandemic and we are trying to get back on our feet, the last thing we need now is to be held back by tax’,” he said.