Fury as Starmer denies Long-Bailey’s account of agreement on wording of tweets – then uses ploy to block discussion of front-bencher’s ‘praise’ of notorious antisemite, immediately after ‘lengthy’ discussion of Long-Bailey sacking
NEC and party members have reacted with outrage to Keir Starmer’s insistence that “I’m not going to discuss [that]”, after an NEC member raised the issue of front-bencher Rachel Reeves’s celebration of notorious antisemite Nancy Astor.
Starmer went on to deny the discussion on the grounds that Reeves was not present to defend herself – but just moments before, that had proven no obstacle to his lengthy discussion of the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey.
In her absence.
An NEC member told the SKWAWKBOX:
Lara [McNeill] asked Keir, “Are you going to continue to allow Rachel Reeves to serve after her campaign to erect a statue to Nancy Astor?” He responded “I’m not going to discuss an individual member of cabinet on a zoom call”, because she was not present. Of course, he’d only just finished discussing the Rebecca Long-Bailey thing.
He also claimed he’d asked Becky to take down her tweet, which directly contradicted her statement that they’d agreed wording for her to use. He didn’t refer to that agreement at all.
The double standard couldn’t have been clearer.
Astor’s antisemitism was entirely open and has been well attested, including such foulness as:
there must be something of the Jews themselves which had brought them persecution throughout all the ages. Was it not therefore, in the final analysis, their responsibility?
[Hitler would have to do worse than give] a rough time to the killers of Christ [to justify Britain’s and America’s entry into the war]… Who are we to stand in the way of the future?
Only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me.
Astor also praised Hitler as a potential ‘solution’ to the “world problems” of Jews and communism.
NEC members were not the only ones to react with anger to Starmer’s selective interest:
Starmer has also failed to react to Shadow Communities Secretary Steve Reed’s sharing of an article referring gratuitously to the owner of two UK businesses as an “Israeli billionaire“, or even to respond to queries about the incident.
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