Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has sacked his junior shadow transport minister who joined striking rail workers on a picket line.
Shadow transport minister Sam Tarry defied the party leader to stand alongside striking workers at London Euston station this morning.
Fellow frontbenchers Kate Osborne and Paula Barker also challenged Starmer’s authority today by joining picket lines.
Ilford South MP Sam Tarry attended the protest at London’s Euston station despite Sir Keir saying his frontbench MPs should stay away.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Tarry said “any Labour MP” would have “absolute solidarity with striking workers”.
‘If we don’t make a stand today, people’s lives could be lost.’ Shadow Transport Minister Sam Tarry has joined the picket line as rail workers strike. He explains why he joined the picket line after Sir Keir Starmer told GMB that Labour MPs should not take part.
Yesterday, Starmer said: “The Labour party in opposition needs to be the Labour party in power and a government doesn’t go on picket lines.”
But Tarry told Good Morning Britain: “If we don’t make a stand today, people’s lives could be lost.”
Asked by former Labour cabinet minister Ed Balls whether he will now be sacked by Starmer, Tarry said: “I’ve no idea what Keir will decide to do, but I know this, if Keir was in government right now this dispute wouldn’t be happening.”
After several hours of discussions behind the scenes, Labour announced that Tarry had been sacked from his frontbench role.
Labour said he had been fired for making unauthorised media appearances.
Responding to his dismissal, Mr Tarry – a supporter of the former leader Jeremy Corbyn – thanked Sir Keir for “the last two and a half years” on the front bench, but said it was “a real shame” he had been removed for “joining a picket line”.
He said he wanted to be “part of a Labour Party that stands in solidarity with workers in their disputes, wherever that may be in this country”,
“Real solidarity means not turning our backs on the people that created and made our party and make us strong on a daily basis,” he added, warning Labour would struggle to win back power without providing a “really clear.. economic alternative”.
He said he had not been told not to appear on a picket in the past day or so.
The TSSA rail union – whose picket line Mr Tarry joined – said it was “ashamed” of Labour.
General secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Whatever excuses the Labour Party makes about the reasons for Sam being sacked, the reality is that Sam has shown solidarity with his class and we applaud him for that. The Labour Party needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
“If they think can win the next general election while pushing away seven million trade union members, they are deluded.
“We expect attacks from the Tories, we don’t expect attacks from our own party. As a Labour-affiliated union, our union is ashamed of the actions of the Labour Party leadership and the anti-worker anti-union message it is sending out.
“If Keir Starmer doesn’t understand the basic concept of solidarity on which our movement has been built then he is not worthy of leading our party.”
People are finding Starmer’s attitude to workers and their legitimate legal right to picket astounding however when you look deeper and understand Starmer is a member of the trilateral commission and organisation that works toward ending all public protests, especially amongst unions you understand why.
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