Sir Keir Starmer goes to war with hard-Left over anti-Semitism as he sacks Rebecca Long-Bailey

0
7

The dismissal of Sir Keir’s former leadership rival has infuriated allies of Jeremy Corbyn but praised by party moderates

Sir Keir Starmer has gone to war with allies of Jeremy Corbyn after he sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an article containing an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”

In a move denounced by John McDonnell and Mr Corbyn’s wife, Sir Keir ousted his shadow education secretary for retweeting a controversial interview with the actress Maxine Peake, whom she described as an “absolute diamond.”

In the interview, Ms Peake sought to link the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police officers to the “Israeli secret services.”

Speaking afterwards, the Labour leader said he had dismissed Ms Long-Bailey because the article contained “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” and had undermined his efforts to rebuild relations with the Jewish community.

Her dismissal marks a pivotal moment in Sir Keir’s leadership, having already removed many of Mr Corbyn’s closest frontbench allies in a bid to detoxify the party with the public and Jewish community.

On Thursday Jewish groups and party moderates praised Sir Keir for showing “decisive leadership” on anti-Semitism, while Tony Blair claimed he was now a leader who “looks as though he could be prime minister.”

However, senior Corbynistas denounced the move as a “reckless overreaction”, with Mr McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, insisting Sir Keir was wrong and the article had not been anti-Semitic.

In what has been interpreted as Mr McDonnell daring the party to discipline him, he shared a link to the offending article on his Twitter account.

Echoing his comments, Laura Alvarez, Mr Corbyn’s wife, tweeted: “I support [Rebecca Long-Bailey] because she defends human rights.”

They were joined by Jon Lansman, the founder of the campaign group Momentum, who claimed that for “someone who promised to end factionalism in the party and political interference in disciplinary matters… Keir has now made these tasks harder.”

On Thursday evening members of the Socialist Campaign Group of left-wing MPs claimed Sir Keir had rejected a request to meet with them to discuss the controversy.

The group is made up of former frontbenchers, among them Mr Corbyn, Mr McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon, as well as several serving shadow ministers who are now said to be on « resignation watch. »

However, a Labour source said no formal request had been made and that Sir Keir intended to meet them for a scheduled meeting next week.

The row erupted after Ms Long-Bailey promoted an interview with Ms Peake on Thursday morning, in which she stated: “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

Ms Peake also went on to claim that people who had left the party under Mr Corbyn should “hang their heads in shame” and that Sir Keir was an “acceptable face” for people who “aren’t really left wing.”

Ms Long-Bailey was swiftly condemned by Jewish groups, who claimed that the claim was a “grotesque” anti-Semitic conspiracy theory which sought to blame Israel for police brutality in America.

As the backlash grew, Ms Long-Bailey issued a clarification insisting she had shared the article because of Ms Peake’s “significant achievements “ and had not been endorsing “all aspects of the article.” She did not apologise.

She later admitted that she had been “instructed” to take down both tweets, despite agreeing the wording of her clarification with Sir Keir’s office, but had been waiting to speak to him before taking further action.

However, her version of events was challenged by senior Labour sources, who told The Telegraph that party officials had spent several hours attempting to get Ms Long-Bailey to delete her posts.

Shortly after 3pm, Sir Keir’s office confirmed Ms Long-Bailey had been dismissed, adding that “anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”

Figures close to Sir Keir had also previously expressed frustration over Ms Long-Bailey’s approach towards schools reopening, with Boris Johnson accusing Labour of remaining silent on the issue.

Asenior shadow cabinet source predicted the decision would lead to the “Corbyn left uniting against Keir” but insisted it was necessary to “reset the bar” after five years of Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

“Keir is being absolutely clear that we are not having anymore of this stupid, horrible, anti-Semitic nonsense,” they added.

“It may divide the Labour Party but very much increase Keir’s perception as strong and as someone determined to bring about change.”

Jonathan Goldstein, the chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, added: “Today we saw significant action from Sir Keir Starmer in ensuring there is zero tolerance for anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.”

We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMicGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnRlbGVncmFwaC5jby51ay9wb2xpdGljcy8yMDIwLzA2LzI1L3Npci1rZWlyLXN0YXJtZXItZ29lcy13YXItaGFyZC1sZWZ0LWFudGktc2VtaXRpc20tc2Fja3MtcmViZWNjYS_SAXRodHRwczovL3d3dy50ZWxlZ3JhcGguY28udWsvcG9saXRpY3MvMjAyMC8wNi8yNS9zaXIta2Vpci1zdGFybWVyLWdvZXMtd2FyLWhhcmQtbGVmdC1hbnRpLXNlbWl0aXNtLXNhY2tzLXJlYmVjY2EvYW1wLw?oc=5

World news – Sir Keir Starmer goes to war with hard-Left over anti-Semitism as he sacks Rebecca Long-Bailey

Laisser un commentaire, votre avis compte!

Laisser un commentaire, votre avis compte!