Sir Keir Starmer under fire after Jamie Driscoll barred from longlist

3 months ago 5

North of Tyne politician  Jamie DriscollImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll has been described arsenic the "last Corbynista successful power"

Labour's Sir Keir Starmer is nether unit implicit the determination to artifact left-leaning Jamie Driscoll from moving successful the North East's inaugural mayoral election.

Unite, the party's biggest national donor, warned of "serious consequences".

Greater Manchester politician Andy Burnham and his counterpart successful the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, besides criticised the decision.

Mr Driscoll is the existent North of Tyne mayor.

News that Mr Driscoll, who has been described arsenic the "last Corbynista successful power" - a notation to the erstwhile Labour person Jeremy Corbyn - was being excluded from the longlist to tally for the caller relation for the wider portion was revealed connected Friday.

The station volition screen Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham with powers implicit transport, lodging and skills.

A elder Labour root linked the determination to Mr Driscoll sharing a sheet with filmmaker Ken Loach, who was expelled from the enactment amid efforts to basal retired antisemitism.

'Major mistake'

Figures connected the near of the enactment person blamed "factionalism" nether Sir Keir's leadership.

Unite wide caput Sharon Graham warned that if Labour "remains intent connected lone selecting nodding heads" past it volition "continue to marque superior argumentation mistakes".

"These actions by Labour are a large mistake and person superior consequences," she added.

Mr Burnham and Mr Rotheram expressed their "concern" successful a associated missive to Johanna Baxter, chairwoman of Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC).

"Whilst we admit the NEC's important relation successful upholding standards wrong the party, and rooting retired immoderate signifier of antisemitism, racism and discrimination, it besides has a work to guarantee decisions are democratic, transparent and fair," they wrote.

"To exclude a sitting politician from a enactment process with nary close of entreaty appears to america to beryllium nary of those things."

They said Mr Driscoll should beryllium entitled to an entreaty process and "deserves to beryllium treated with much respect than helium has truthful acold been shown".


Speaking connected Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday show, Mr Driscoll said preventing Labour members from having a accidental implicit whether helium should correspond the North East was "frankly shocking".

Defending what helium described arsenic his "fantastic" way record, helium said: "In a two-party system, if you're going to prohibition radical who are promoting socialist views from participating successful that, that is truly rather anti-democratic."

Mr Driscoll defended discussing Mr Loach's films, immoderate of which person been produced successful the North East, contempt the manager downplaying the contented of antisemitism successful the party.

He added: "My knowing is he's made each sorts of clarifications that he's not a Holocaust denier and I deliberation helium wrote a missive to the New York Times explicitly saying that the Holocaust was a existent event, which of people it was."

Mr Loach, the manager of socially captious films including I, Daniel Blake, was expelled from Labour successful 2021 during what helium called astatine the clip a "purge" of Mr Corbyn's allies.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Unite said Sir Keir Starmer and Labour should not prime "nodding heads"

Shadow concern caput Jonathan Reynolds "strongly" disagreed with claims Sir Keir was trying to purge the near of the party.

He told Sky: "Specifically successful a lawsuit wherever idiosyncratic shares a level with idiosyncratic who themselves has been expelled from the Labour Party for their views connected antisemitism, for opposing the pugnacious enactment that needed to happen, that would preclude them from being a Labour campaigner going forward.

"Because erstwhile we said we'd person zero-tolerance for antisemitism, erstwhile we said we would teardrop it retired from its roots, we were superior astir that."

Mr Loach had told the PA quality bureau that keeping Mr Driscoll disconnected the longlist published connected Friday due to the fact that they shared a level was the "lamest excuse I've ever heard".

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