Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: Butler says no leadership challenge planned

Labour MP says MSM reports of challenge are unfounded

Labour MP Dawn Butler has denied MSM reports published this afternoon that she is planning to challenge Keir Starmer for the party’s leadership if – as even Labour itself expects – Starmer loses next week’s Batley and Spen by-election.

Ms Butler told Skwawkbox that there is no truth to the claims and no challenge is planned.

It is, however, hard to imagine Starmer remaining unchallenged by someone if he loses yet another by-election, after a worst-ever result last week made his Hartlepool loss last month look like a probable high point of his tenure, especially when he has already sacked or shuffled most of his advisers, so has few scapegoatsleft to blame.

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  1. We need neither quitters nor cowards. That is not leadership.

    1. That is just weird from someone who has Dawn Butler as a possible history maker
      Who has the best interests of a future socialist Labour government building on the JC legacy
      I’m f7ck3d if I know

      1. timfrom – “It’s Galloway all the way for me now!”

        In the future I’ll try and remember to factor in the manifest lack you’ve of judgement you’ve just displayed when reading your comments

      2. SteveH davidH SH it was and remains your “judgement” to give your FULL backing to SIR Rodney Starmer. Your Keith LOST Hartlepool. First time ever in Labour history. Jeremy led Labour held it TWICE despite Starmer’s sabotage and TWO coups.

        Your “manifest lack of judgement” – fanboy 4 SIR Keith who destroyed a Jeremy led ELEVEN THOUSAND plus votes in Amersham & Chesham By-Election. 2nd Place with a so called “far left” manifesto in deepest Toryland.

        Yet your Starmer’s Right Wing choice to woo Tories, was crushed. Rejected. DUMPED. Lost deposit. Fourth place. 622 votes Starmer. The worst Bi-Election result in Labour 100 year history Starmer. 1.6% vote share Starmer. Your “manifest” Starmer.

        Your “judgement” SIR Keith was REJECTED by 98.4% of the electorate with his Right Wingery. GOOD!!! You arrogant shameless tosspot SteveH davidH SH tit ‼️‼️‼️

  2. Is it time to say
    Have you got the bollocks for it
    Come on lasses put up or shut up

  3. Earlier this week the Guardian published a photograph of Starmer flanked on one side by defeated Labour MP Ruth Smeeth. This provides further evidence that she is part of his entourage.

    Smeeth was part of a group of 5 Labour MPs that decided to support the Trump administration’s destruction of the Reagan-era INF missile treaty. This treaty had contributed to our safety for over 30 years. But the Trump administration was certainly not acting in good faith at all.

    The fact that Smeeth is part of Starmer’s team is reason enough to replace him as leader.

    Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter wrote:

    “By killing the INF Treaty based on flawed intelligence, the U.S. risks global annihilation.”

    His full article can be read here:

    Thank you.

  4. This was probably a rumour started by the Starmerites to force Butler to rule herself out. She would never have spoken idly about that on the eve of a byelection Starmer needs to win and that even most Starmer opponents are hoping Leadbeater does win simply to prevent the party going into structural collapse- Butler would have realised that openly speculating about this before polling day would make her look like a saboteur.

    So she had to rule it out to avoid looking like she was trying to stab Keir “in the front”…assuming Keir actually HAS a front.

    1. Not just another kite flying exercise from the left then. Not just a continuation of their never ending quest to find a credible leader to get behind.

      1. Of course not- this clearly wasn’t a left thing. Dawn Butler would be a perfectly credible leader, and there is no reason for Labour to take your advice and make sure left-wingers are permanently barred from seeking the leadership- nobody to the right of the Labour Left has Labour values, or supports socialism, or opposes austerity, or accepts that further military intervention in Arab or other Muslim countries would be pointless and simply kill huge numbers of additional innocent civilians.

        Labour didn’t lose in 2019 for being left wing…and the polls prove that Labour can’t win by repudiating the 2017/19 policies and reducing itself to bland centrism, to things the Tories couldn’t “beat the party with a stick” about- i.e., reducing it to policies that would help no one and wouldn’t even be noticed by most people, since that is all any policy the Tories couldn’t attack Labour on could ever possibly do.

      2. kenburch – Maybe Dawn Butler would be a perfectly credible leader, but first she’ll have to work out how to attract more than 11% of the members votes.

      3. kenburch – I might start taking you seriously when you can put forward a credible leader for the left to coalesce behind, until then it’s all just bluster.
        At the moment the only ‘cunning and dastardly plan’ the left seem to have is get rid of Starmer so that he can be replaced by a Blairite. 🙄

      4. Steve, are you EVER going to admit that Starmer’s pointless vendetta against Corbyn supporters and his refusal to admit that the incidence of AS in the party was massively exaggerated and no more prevalent under Corbyn than at any other time are doing the party nothing but harm? Are you ever going to accept that the dismal poll ratings Starmer’s obsession with erasing everything and everyone even vestigially related to Corbyn dooms the party to getting essentially no votes at all from anyone under 40, and that at the same time there is no chance of Labour ever winning solely on the votes of people OVER 40?

        Is there anything that could ever possibly cause you to acknowledge that what Keir’s doing and NOT doing is causing nothing but harm to the party?

        Why are you so blindly loyal to a leader who is doing something Corbyn never did- lose seats to the Tories at by-elections and losing its deposit in the most recent byelection? What is there to be loyal to?

        And if you’re a socialist, why would you ever want Labour to make its Left powerless and irrevant? It’s only the Left that holds socialist values- no “Labour moderate” has any, and none of the “Labour moderates” want anything significant to change in the economic and social status quo in the UK- all of them hold to the self-defeating delusion that Labour has to accept that capitalism is the eternal way of things, that the benefits system must be miserly and judgmental towards those who receive benefits, and that we MUST accept that war- even though no war can ever end in any side being able to claim “victory” in the World War II sense again- is simply something we have to accept as eternal?

        I could understand it if accepting any of that meant Labour was “twenty points ahead” with its vindictively antisocialist leader, but it’s fourteen points behind. Given that, what could there possibly be to defend in all of this?

      5. kenburch – ….and yet where was your forthright campaign against JC because of his even more dire polling results.
        I’m far less concerned about the loss of a couple of oddball by-elections than I am about losing 60 seats in an election where more of middle class (ABC1) than working class (C2DE) voted Labour and for the first time ever more of the working class voted Tory than voted Labour (by a very substantial margin of 15%).

      6. She would get far more than 11% of the membership-it’s only the right-wing and totally out-of-touch PLP that she would have trouble getting support from. Given how the last two elections with leaders the PLP were basically content with went, it is now clear that there is no valid reason for that contingent to either have a veto over who can be on the leadership ballot OR be guaranteed automatic reselection for life. God only knows how the ’17 or ’19 elections would have gone with Burnham, Cooper, Kendall or Smith as leader- and we can now guess how they’d have gone with Keir The Vindictive as leader.

        Given how dismally things are going with an anti-left leader, why would you STILL insist that no one from the left- and no one in the PLP other than it’s left wing has any claim to being any part of the left at all- there’s clearly no difference between “centre-left” and “Tory”- and given that he has put Labour further behind Boris than they ever were under Corbyn before the ’19 election-Corbyn’s ratings after the GE, as we all know, are irrelevant, because they were polls taken when Corbyn was a lame duck, when his career was effectively over- what is it about Starmer that could possibly inspire your unquestioning loyalty to him? Why go to the mat to defend someone who has done nothing but harm and has succeeded in nothing but driving 100,000 people out of the party when those people did nothing whatsoever to deserve being made to feel so unwelcome that, when they weren’t suspended or expelled, they simply quit in despair and hopelessness.

        You can’t seriously argue that Labour has in any way benefited from Starmer’s endless vendetta against Corbyn supporters, or that any good can come from repudiating Corbyn’s policies and adopting policies to their right- policies that, by simple virtue of BEING to the right of Corbyn policies, would be inherently useless and inadequate and therefor certain to be unpopular.

        What is there to defend, Steve? What possible hope is there that anything Starmer is doing will ever lead to the election of a Labour government- Labour was often in a dead head with the Tories under Corbyn- it is now badly behind and falling.

        Why can’t you admit that Starmer is a failure?

      7. krnburch – She only managed 10.9% not much over a year ago, what’s changed?

      8. Corbyn’s performance wasn’t dire in 2017- he led Labour to a ten point gain in the popular vote and a gain of thirty seats- given that his own MPs were relentlessly smearing and sabotaging him, he did remarkably well.

        There was no reason between 2017 and 2019 to demand he stand down, and we know from Keir’s poll ratings now that replacing Corbyn with a dreary, passionless left-hating centrist of the sort you’d have preferred to as leader wouldn’t have done better- and the pointless Labour Right obsession with stopping Brexit when everyone knew it was unstoppable was the cause.

        All of the Labour “moderates” were Remainers, and we both know ANY Labour leader who stood as an all-out Remainer would have done far far worse in the Red Wall- we both know NO leader who’d have tried for a second referendum before the election, which was something that could never have happened, would have harmed Labour even more throughly in the Red Wall than the Labour Right harmed it in Scotland by refusing to allow Scottish Labour to run its own Labour-specific campaign on the Indyref, refused to allow it to control who its candidates were and what its policies were.

        There was never going to be a second referendum and there was especially never going to be a second ref before the next election- and in a minority parliament, there was no way to block an early election without causing a massive drop in Labour’s support- Labour would have done even worse had it reverted to centrist control, had it put the pointless and unwinnable push for a second referendum first- there was no socialist or even non-reactionary case for Remain- and Labour would have been doomed to lose an election held AFTER an allout but unwinnable fight for a second referendum.

        NONE of those things are Corbyn’s fault.
        Neither is the fact that the AS Smear was relentlessly pushed by the PLP and the right-wing media even though everyone knew there was no increase in AS under Corbyn and there wasn’t much of it before that- and even though everyone knew that criticism of the Israeli government or even opposition to Zionism is never AS.
        So THAT wasn’t Corbyn’s fault

        And the truth is, Corbyn likely WOULD have gone after the ’17 result if the PLP and the party bureaucracy had accepted that Labour must be a clearly socialist party if it is to have any reason to exist, if those factions had agree that there would be no purge of Corbyn’s supporters and that there WOULD be an expansion of internal party democracy so that the party wouldn’t revert to the place where it is now, where only the leader and his cynical, antisocialist advisors have any say in what Labour does, how its run or what it stands for.

        It wasn’t reasonable to expect Corbyn to go between ’17 and ’19 and leave his supporters and what they stood for completely unprotected- and what Keir has done since leader, combined by the completely inexcusable collapse he’s led the party to in the polls when he should have been certain of having the party “Twenty Points Ahead” simply because he is neither Corbyn nor in possession of any Labour values at all proves that no good whatsoever would have come of Corbyn standing down before the ’19 election OR of Labour blocking that election being held when there was no alternative to letting it be called without looking antidemocratic and pathetic.

    2. Starmer has front, the trouble is it is just a facade, and we have all seen that now, well, apart from our resident rat that is, he will only see it when instructed.

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