TWO Barnsley MPs have responded to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s comments about Margaret Thatcher claiming he wasn’t supporting her policies – and they said their views on the former Prime Minister reflect those of residents.

Last week, Mr Starmer appeared to praise the late Conservative MP’s views – but Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock have said this isn’t the case.

Sir Keir said: “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.

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“Tony Blair reimagined a stale, outdated Labour Party into one that could seize the optimism of the late nineties.”

In a joint statement the two local MPs said that Thatcher ‘tore the fabric of our communities apart’: “Thatcher took a sledgehammer to places like Barnsley, and our views on that are well known and shared by many in our town.

“Keir wasn’t supporting her policies, but highlighting that she – alongside various other Prime Ministers, such as Tony Blair and Clement Attlee – used their time in office to fundamentally change our country.

“In Thatcher’s case, she devastated coalfield communities and decimated the industries that towns like ours were built on.

“She tore the fabric of our communities apart, but driven governments don’t have to be destructive as hers was.

“That’s why the Labour Party wants to use the office of Prime Minister, should we have the honour to form the next government, to build an NHS fit for the future, break down barriers to opportunity and fundamentally change our town, and country, for the better.”