Keir Starmer warned over ‘weak’ move if Jeremy Corbyn reinstated to Labour Party

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Sir Keir appears to have come into his own since Mr Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party. In the period following the debacle, the new Labour leader has taken aim at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. This week, he warned Mr Johnson over the “dim view” that President-Elect Joe Biden will take of his Brexit bill, blasted the 10pm pub curfew, and yesterday criticised Westminster’s expenditure on a PR team to promote UK vaccines.

He also tore apart a further 15 policies Mr Johnson and his cabinet have implemented during the crisis which has marred 2020.

All of this appears to be working in his favour.

According to the latest YouGov data available, voting intention in Britain has tipped towards the Labour Party.

If there was a general election tomorrow, 35 percent of the country would vote for the Tories, while 40 percent would choose Sir Keir to lead the way going forward, the poll suggests.

Yet, this could all change, Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, told, should Sir Keir accept Mr Corbyn back into the party.

In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, Sir Keir was asked if there was any way back for Mr Corbyn, to which he replied that the former Labour leader must “reflect” on his comments following the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on anti-Semitism in the party.

Responding to Sir Keir’s remark, Prof Bale said: “I do think the impact on public opinion will be something Starmer might have to worry about should he choose to do that.

“He’s shown to some extent strength in suspending Corbyn, that the party has new strength.

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“But having him back could be interpreted, and no doubt will be, by the Conservatives as weakness.

“And then you’ll have the worry some in the Jewish community will feel, that he wouldn’t be taking anti-Semitism as seriously as they thought he would.”

Mr Corbyn was suspended after he released a statement in response to the EHRC report.

Although he branded anti-Semitism as a “cancer”, he said: “The scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”.


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Following his suspension, Mr Corbyn has called for calm and for members to “make the case” for left-wing values internally.

The former leader has garnered the support of many of the party’s Left since his dismissal.

Most notably, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite the Union, pledged his backing of Mr Corbyn, warning Sir Keir that the decision could risk “chaos” and cost the party any hopes of winning the 2024 election.

Anger was furthered after a Channel 4 interview with Sir Keir appeared to reveal that Mr Corbyn had heard the news from a photographer.

Sir Keir insisted that he “didn’t know how Jeremy Corbyn found out” yet proceeded to claim that a letter had been sent to him to inform him of his suspension.

Howard Beckett, Unite’s “hardman” Assistant General Secretary for Politics and Legal issues, attacked Sir Keir on social media.

In a tweet, he referred the leader to page 27 of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, and said: “Perhaps you Sir want to explain why you take a different view than the EHRC?”

Meanwhile, Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communications Workers Union, said the EHRC report was “well-balanced”.

Although he added that Sir Keir’s decision “reeks of political opportunism”.

Despite his comments, Sir Keir has made clear he would not “interfere” with the party’s internal investigation into Mr Corbyn’s statement.

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