Len McCluskey turns on Starmer as Labour rift rips wide open after Long-Bailey sacking

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    The General Secretary of Unite the Union warned the sacking of Mrs Long-Bailey went against Mr Starmer’s previous commitment to unite the Labour Party. He said it played into the hands of “the right-wing of the Parliamentary Labour Party set out to destroy Jeremy Corbyn from the moment he was elected leader”. Mr McCluskey added: “The sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey was a mistake, perhaps brought about, in my opinion, by a lack of clarity in communications.”

    He also described how the British media would receive the news of the former Shadow Secretary of State for Education’s sacking with a sense of “glee”.

    Hoping he said, “that an internal party war will now break out”.

    He warned that Mr Starmer’s move inflated “disastrous consequences of disunity” for the party and would erode confidence in the voter base.

    Mrs Long-Bailey was asked to resign by the Labour Leader last week.

    This was because she shared an article online that contained an allegation that Israeli secret services had trained US police to use the knee-on-neck restraint that killed George Floyd.

    Mr Starmer went on to describe this as an inappropriate move to circulate “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories”.

    Mr McCluskey championed the findings of the Milliband report which analysed the causes of Labour’s catastrophe at the last General Election.

    He describe the report as showing that Labour needs to “maintain the politics of radicalism introduced by Corbyn and McDonnell”.

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    “I hope those around Keir Starmer realise that the only route to No10 lies in party unity.

    “Any other thoughts are the first step on the road to perdition.”

    The trade unionist described Mr Starmer as needing the strength to “reject the siren voices who want him to abandon the mission that he has embraced”.

    Mr McCluskey described mission as one that “echoed the radicalism of our party members and trade unions”.

    He added Mr Starmer is “committed to maintaining those political values based on the moral case for socialism”.

    The Unite Union leader described the coronavirus crisis as the biggest threat to the country.

    He said it “threatens millions of jobs, needs a clear vision and leadership to invest in our industries and communities”.

    He added: “Keir is correct to put the urgent need to avert a jobs cliff-edge this summer front and centre of the party’s campaigning, and he has the support of every trade unionist in the country on this.

    “A Labour Party united, as our class faces such challenging times, is essential.”



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