KEIR Starmer has praised Margaret Thatcher in an explicit appeal to Conservative voters.

Writing in The Telegraph, the Labour leader said former Tory prime minister Thatcher had brought “meaningful change” to Britain and applauded her for “setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

He then pitched himself as the successor to Thatcher and former Labour prime minister Tony Blair.

Humza Yousaf slammed the comments as an "insult" to Scottish communities who felt the brunt of Thatcher's disastrous policies. 

“Every moment of meaningful change in modern British politics begins with the realisation that politics must act in service of the British people, rather than dictating to them," Starmer said. 

“Margaret Thatcher sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism.

“Tony Blair reimagined a stale, outdated Labour Party into one that could seize the optimism of the late 90s.”

READ MORE: Keir Starmer's pledges from 2020 election erased from website

Not content with endorsing the Iron Lady, Starmer then accused the Conservative Party of failing “to realise the possibilities of Brexit” and criticised the UK Government’s “betrayal” of its promise to reduce net migration.

“Changing Labour has also meant ridding us of the nonsensical idea that some subjects are simply off limits for us," he said. 

“I profoundly disagree with the idea Labour should not be talking about immigration or small boats crossings.

“This is a Government that was elected on a promise that immigration would 'come down' and the British people would 'always [be] in control'.

“For immigration to then triple is more than just yet another failure – it is a betrayal of their promises.”

Starmer also painted a picture of straitened economic policy should he become prime minister.

“There will be many on my own side who will feel frustrated by the difficult choices we will have to make," he said. 

The National: The Labour leader said Margaret Thatcher had unleashed the natural entrepreneurialism of the UKThe Labour leader said Margaret Thatcher had unleashed the natural entrepreneurialism of the UK

“This is non-negotiable: every penny must be accounted for. The public finances must be fixed so we can get Britain growing and make people feel better off.”

In his most explicit appeal to Conservative voters to date, the Labour leader asks those who vote Tory to consider the work he has done to push his party to the right.

“Across Britain, there are people who feel disillusioned, frustrated, angry, worried,” he added.

“Many of them have always voted Conservative but feel that their party has left them. I understand that.

“I saw that with my own party and acted to fix it. But I also understand that many will still be uncertain about Labour. I ask them to take a look at us again.”

It comes after the ten pledges made by Starmer during his leadership campaign in 2020 were erased from his website, with the party leader already having abandoned or watered down many of his own commitments.

The First Minister shared his reaction to Starmer's comments on X/Twitter, writing: "What Thatcher did to mining and industrial communities was not 'entrepreneurialism', it was vandalism. 

"Starmer praising Thatcher is an insult to those communities in Scotland, and across the UK, who still bear the scars of her disastrous policies."