Monday, 21 Sep 2020

Labour civil war: Corbynistas lash out at Starmer as they vent fury at Long-Bailey sacking

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In a newspaper interview, Labour-supporting actor Maxine Peake claimed Israel had trained US police to use controversial tactics similar to the ones which led to the death of the black man George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The interview also focused on the actor’s support for former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Sharing the article on Twitter, Ms Long Bailey wrote: “Maxine Peake is an absolute diamond.”

Ms Long-Bailey issuing a statement on the matter where she revealed she had spoken to the Opposition leader to explain her tweet.

However, she said Sir Starmer had already made up his mind.

A spokesperson for Sir Starmer issued a statement saying: “The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority.

“Anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”

Now, Corbynista’s have taken to social media to launch an attack on the new Labour leader saying Ms Long-Bailey should never have been sacked.

Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, John McDonnell, wrote on Twitter: “Throughout discussion of antisemitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not anti-Semitic.

“I don’t believe therefore that this article is or Rebecca Long-bailey should’ve been sacked.

“I stand in solidarity with her.”

Owen Jones, Guardian journalist and vocal Labour supporter, said it was an “absurd overreaction” sacking Ms Long-Bailey.

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He said: “Sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an interview in the Independent with one of Britain’s most celebrated actors because of a sentence uttered by Maxine Peake which the Independent initially justified with a link to an Amnesty International report is an absurd overreaction.”

Political commentator, Ash Sarker, also condemned the move by Sir Starmer and said it was “utterly disgraceful”.

She wrote on Twitter: “Keir StarMer sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey is an utterly disgraceful decision.

“It undermines the position the Labour Party has insisted on all along that it’s possible to criticise Israeli policy without being antisemitic.

“Shameful, shameful stuff.”

Editor of the Tribune Magazine, Ronan Burtenshaw, criticised Sir Starmer and called him a coward.

He said: “After weeks of undermining Rebecca Long-Bailey’s efforts to stand up for teachers and their unions, Starmer sacks her to protect the reputation of the Israeli occupation.

“You would call him a coward – but a man who stands for nothing never has a need for courage.”

Many of those angry over her sacking have taken to social media to say they no longer support the Labour Party, with some cutting up their member cards.

Following outrage that she had shared the interview with Maxine Peake, the Labour MP defended retweeting the article.

She wrote on social media: “I retweeted Maxine Peake’s article because of her significant achievements and because the thrust of her argument is to stay in the Labour Party.

“It wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article.

“These are sentiments are shared by everyone in our movement and millions of people in our country.

“I learned that many people were concerned by references to international sharing of training and restraint techniques between police and security forces.”

Sir Starmer’s move has been praised by Jewish organisations around the country.

Claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party were heightened after Jeremy Corbyn was elected the party leader back in 2015.

High-profile suspensions over alleged anti-Semitic comments included MP Naz Shah, the ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone and MP Chris Williamson, an ally and friend of Mr Corbyn.

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