TWITTER users have rebranded Sir Keir Starmer as Sir Kid Starver – as a Labour civil war erupts over the two-child benefit cap.

Many have found his new nickname bares similarities to Margaret Thatcher’s name from opponents – “Thatcher, the milk snatcher”, coined for taking away free milk from school pupils.

So, why is Starmer being called a kid starver?

The Labour leader has decided to U-turn on his pledge to scrap the two-child benefit cap. It prevents parents from claiming child tax credit or Universal Credit for any third or subsequent child born after April 2017.

This has led to some of his own cohort of Scottish MSPs, such as Pam Duncan-Glancy, saying he is endorsing a policy that “puts and keeps people in poverty”.

Dame Jackie Baille has previously said that it is reminiscent of China’s one-child policy – adding that it was scrapped, and so “maybe now the Tories can bring themselves to follow China’s example”.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf calls for Labour U-turn on two-child benefit cap row

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, defended Starmer's decision because the party did not want to “spook the markets” into a Truss-style market meltdown.

Aaron Bastani wrote on Twitter: "It’s hard to overstate how insane it is to keep the two child cap on benefits for Labour. 250k kids could be taken out of poverty for £1.3 billion." 

The Sun quoted an off-the-record shadow minister saying: “This was a political pothole that has suddenly turned into a massive chasm – how are we in a sh*tty position where we’re having to defend a sh*tty Tory policy?”


The National: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street. Photo: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

The policy was introduced by George Osborne and has caused controversy ever since.

Starmer’s deputy leader Angela Rayner called it “inhumane” and the leader of the Opposition himself called for it to be scrapped.