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  • AQA Component Political parties: the origins, ideas and development of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties and how these have helped shape their current policies

  • Edexcel Component 1 (UK Politics): 2.2 Established political parties: The origins and historical development of the Conservative party, the Labour party and Liberal Democrat Party, and how this has shaped their ideas and current policies on the economy, law and order, welfare and foreign affairs.

Background: what you need to know

This article reviews Keir Starmer’s recent shadow cabinet reshuffle. This is important as it is quite possibly the leadership team that will fight the general election some time next year.

The most marked feature is the promotion of centre-right figures, some with experience of government in the Blair-Brown era such as Pat McFadden (shadow Cabinet Office secretary and Labour party campaign co-ordinator) and Hilary Benn (shadow Northern Ireland secretary). This marks a break with the period of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (2015-20) and has predictably been poorly received by the party’s leftwing.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

Keir Starmer hands Blairite MPs key roles in Labour reshuffle

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • ‘The Labour party has moved away from the ideas and policies of socialism in recent years.’ Analyse and evaluate this statement. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 1

  • Evaluate the view that the Labour party is no longer a socialist party.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: One way to structure an answer to a question like this is to write a paragraph on each of the main policy areas — economic policy, welfare, law and order, foreign policy — and in each case, to assess how far Labour under Keir Starmer has moved the party away from leftwing policies. Remember the importance of balance in your answer: for example, Labour has acted in the spirit of ‘New Labour’ with its vow not to introduce a wealth tax but has also pledged to abolish tax breaks for independent schools, a more overtly ‘socialist’ policy: Rachel Reeves rules out wealth tax under Labour and here is an interesting article on changes of policy under Starmer’s leadership: Five times Keir Starmer has changed tack on policy

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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