Momentum accuses Starmer of behaving like Putin

Starmer says Corbyn won’t stand for Labour at general election

Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of behaving like “Putin of the Labour Party” by the founder of Momentum. Jon Lansman lashed out at the Labour leader after he moved to block his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from standing for the party at the next general election.

It comes as Mr Corbyn was visibly irritable with a Sky News reporter yesterday when he was asked about his future as a Labour MP.

Mr Lansman told Times Radio: “This is not an authoritarian party. Keir Starmer unfortunately is behaving as if he was some kind of Putin of the Labour Party. That is not the way we do politics.”

But Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge hit back: “When I heard that, I thought, it’s half laughable but actually, it’s totally inappropriate and ridiculous to compare a dictator fighting a war to someone who has zero tolerance against racism in the form of antisemitism in the Labour Party, and who is fighting for what is right.”

“I can’t think of circumstances in which Jeremy Corbyn could be a candidate for Labour in the next general election.

“I don’t think you’ll ever apologise, he’s had years to and he hasn’t done it.”

Sir Keir yesterday got the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to vote not to endorse his predecessor in contesting Islington North for Labour at the next election.

Mr Corbyn is suspended from being a Labour MP and sits as an independent following a row over antisemitism.

The former Labour leader yesterday dropped a huge hint he will run as an independent candidate at the next election, saying he has “no intention of stopping” fighting for his constituents.

But Mr Lansman said he would not support the move as he still wants to see Sir Keir take the keys to No 10.

He said: “No, I certainly wouldn’t. I want to see Keir Starmer elected as prime minister of this country, and we need a Labour government.

“I don’t think he should stand as an independent. I think it would be a big mistake. You know, he is a member of the Labour Party.

“Keir Starmer isn’t proposing to end his membership of the Labour Party, he will have a bigger voice as the former leader of the Labour Party and still a Labour Party member than he would have as a backbench MP.”

If Mr Corbyn did run as an independent in the seat he has represented since 1983, he could create a distracting challenge for Sir Keir at the next general election.

But such a move could also see him thrown out of the party he has held membership of for nearly 60 years.

Mr Corbyn remains a member of the Labour Party but has lost the whip over his response to the damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report in 2020 on antisemitism in Labour.

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