Sir Kier Starmer’s own Camden Momentum branch has passed a resolution calling on Labour’s National Executive Committee to pass a vote of no confidence in Starmer himself
Sir Kier Starmer has faced calls for a vote of no confidence from the Camden branch of left-wing organisation Momentum. The branch of the Momentum group – which states its support for Jeremy Corbyn – has launched a number of sharp accusations at Sir Starmer. Some of the claims refer to the Labour leader’s previous role as Director of Public Prosecutions.
The motion – passed by Camden Momentum on July 24th – accuses Starmer of working “closely with the police in prosecuting and convicting people who were overwhelmingly working class and disproportionately people of colour” as Director of Public Prosecutions; ordering “the fast-tracking of extradition of Julian Assange”; and attacks his support for “Zionism without qualification”.
Momentum Camden Calls for NEC Motion of No Confidence in Keir Starmer
The motion makes some very serious accusations towards Sir Keir Starmer stating :
As leader of the Labour Party, Starmer:
- Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
- Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
- Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
- Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
- Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of antisemitism.
- Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.
Starmer’s statement that he needs “unconscious bias” training, is both an admission and misdirection: His racism has been conscious and consistent and has no place in an antiracist party. In the process he makes racism a personal psychological problem and not a systemic social disaster. He has brought the Labour Party into disrepute with some of its most loyal supporters, BAME communities.
Therefore Momentum Camden calls on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party to pass a motion of “No Confidence” in Keir Starmer.
We also call on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group to support this demand and publicise its support to all local Momentum groups. LINK to the original motion
The more current, accusations related to what the group describes as a failure on Sir Starmer’s part to act on a number of alleged issues facing the party including racism and ableism.
Sam Weinstein, Secretary of the Camden Momentum branch, accused Sir Starmer of “working closely with the police” in his prosecution role to convict people who were “overwhelmingly working class and disproportionately people of colour”.
Sir Starmer has previously voiced a staunch opposition to defunding the UK’s police force.
He said in June: “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police, and I would have no truck with that.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tells #BBCBreakfast it’s "a shame" the sentiment behind the Black Lives Matter movement is getting “tangled up with these organisational issues" and it’s "nonsense" to call to ‘Defund the Police’. pic.twitter.com/7ydITWGZWN— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) June 29, 2020
Mr Weinstein also accused Sir Starmer of “failing to hold the police accountable for deaths in police custody.”
He also claimed Sir Starmer “took no immediate action against HQ staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on anti-Semitism in the party.”
Mr Weinstein did not highlight which claims of sexism, racism, or ableism he was referring to. However, they may be in reference to cases set out in the leaked report, including one alleged instance where Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North, was described as an “angry woman”, described as a “classic racist trope”.
The claims may also refer to another instance in which Ms Abbott was crying in a bathroom due to regular abuse she had received online.
The report revealed a secret conversation between senior staffers, in which they discussed revealing to a Channel 4 news reporter where Ms Abbott was. One of the staffers replied “already have” with a winking emoji.
The report mentioned Ms Abbott, as well as other BAME Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Clive Lewis specifically as being on the receiving end of casual racism, ITV reports.
The Momentum Camden leader said of Sir Starmer: “He has brought the Labour Party into disrepute with its most loyal supporters and voters, working-class BAME communities.
“At its July meeting, Momentum Camden passed a resolution calling on the national executive committee of the Labour Party to pass a vote of no confidence in Sir Keir Starmer.”