Thursday 19 November 2020


Keir Starmer's decision to withhold the Labour whip from Corbyn predictably led to a day of online outrage.  Unite's Len McCluskey raged: "This is a vindictive and vengeful action... I urge Keir Starmer in the strongest terms to pull back from the brink".  Former Labour MP Thelma Walker announced that she'd resigned from the party after attending her local 'branch meeting'.  It's not clear in the midst of a lockdown how this 'branch meeting' occurred.  Walker was briefly the MP for Colne Valley between 2017 and 2019.

Meanwhile, Corbyn's current parliamentary comrades put their names to a brief statement condemning Starmer's decision, although it didn't refer to the party leader by name.  There were a few absences from the SCG statement - Marsha de Cordova, Imran Hussain, Andy McDonald, Rachael Maskell, Charlotte Nichols and Sam Tarry.  These six appear to be treading lightly as a matter of self-preservation.  They are all either members of Starmer's front bench or Parliamentary Private Secretaries to frontbenchers.  If they are not willing to stick their heads above the parapet now, it's unlikely they'll join any breakaway party - if it comes to that.

Four peers made up the numbers on the SCG statement - Baroness Blower, Baroness Bryan, Baroness Clark and Lord Hendy.