Britons want a bit of drama from their leaders – and Keir Starmer isn't serving it | Marina Hyde

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The lawyerly Labour leader may think the public want calm and competence, but has he met them lately?

Like all desperate thrill-seekers in this interminable lockdown, I was momentarily stirred to hear there were some handbags between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer in one of parliament’s corridors after prime minister’s questions on Wednesday. Yes! Action! I briefly imagined the lightning exchange of cash bets as watching MPs behaved much like the hyped-up midnight crowd in one of those underground Chinese insect-fighting contests.

According to some reports, the Labour leader was “puce” and “rattled” when he confronted Johnson for accusing him of having called for the UK not to leave the European Medicines Agency. Alas, subsequent accounts featured a Labour MP denying he had had to hold Starmer back – and in any case by that stage the Labour leader had formally apologised for wrongly thinking that Johnson had claimed he had wanted to join the EU vaccine programme.

Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist

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