KEIR Starmer said he wanted to get rid of the two-child benefit cap three years ago.

And yet, the Labour leader told a journalist on Thursday it was not Labour's policy to ditch the cap, which has been heavily criticised for plunging more kids into poverty.

Starmer's shadow work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, had hinted last month that Labour would scrap the two-child cap, which was introduced in 2017 by George Osborne and restricts benefits support to the first two children.

A Twitter thread Starmer posted in February 2020 also shows he suggested getting rid of it, pointing to another significant U-turn from the party.

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And Scottish Labour's National Recovery Plan, published in April 2021, said the party would work "with UK colleagues to abolish the two-child cap".

The Starmer thread says: "Too many people today are struggling to make ends meet, held back by jobs that don’t pay enough; a social security system that has subjected people to the most appalling indignity; and a public sector that is on its knees after a decade of cuts.

"Another future is possible, but we have to fight for it. Here are my ideas for how we can tackle the vast social injustice in our country.

"It’s time to scrap Universal Credit and create a social security system fit for the 21st century with compassion and justice as its founding principles.

The National: Keir Starmer appears to have made another U-turn on the two-child benefit cap Keir Starmer appears to have made another U-turn on the two-child benefit cap (Image: NQ)

"We must scrap the inhuman Work Capability Assessments and private provision of disability assessments (e.g. ATOS), scrap punitive sanctions, two-child limit and benefits cap.

"We must end destitution and the rise of foodbanks by ensuring that benefit gaps, sanctions and debt recovery do not push people into poverty."

Starmer added Labour must set a national goal for wellbeing to make health as important as GDP and introduce a "Public Right to Control" unused buildings or community assets, before saying: "I would really like to hear your thoughts and get your input into these proposals."

The link to the paper detailing the proposals Starmer posted no longer works.

Toni Giugliano, the SNP's policy chief, said a Labour party that won't abolish this "cruel" policy is "not worthy of the name".

He told The National: "The research is clear – the two-child cap has only served to push hundreds of thousands of households into poverty and damage people's mental health.

"Compare this with the SNP's game-changing Scottish Child Payment which is reaching more than 300,000 children in the backdrop of a Tory-made cost-of-living crisis.

"A Labour party that won't abolish one of the most cruel Tory policies that is pushing thousands into poverty is not worthy of the name."