WATCH: Sacking Long-Bailey was “the right thing to do”, says Starmer

Elliot Chappell

Keir Starmer has defended his decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey from the Labour frontbench – declaring that it was “the right thing to do”.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast this morning, the Labour leader was asked whether there was anything that Long-Bailey could have done after tweeting the article to have kept her position.

Starmer refused to go into the detail on the conversations between the two – he instead reiterated that he is determined to “root out antisemitism” within the Labour Party.

The Labour leader said: “I took the view that the article that Rebecca Long-Bailey tweeted about was classic antisemitic in the sense of saying here’s something awful that happened in America – point the finger at Israel.”

He added: “I’m absolutely clear in my mind that it was the right thing to do, because I do not want the Labour Party and antisemitism to be in the same sentence ever again.”

Starmer sacked Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet after she shared an interview containing the claim that US police learnt kneeling on people’s necks “from seminars with Israeli secret services”.

Kate Green MP – previously in the shadow work and pensions team – has been appointed as her replacement. Green served in Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet. She resigned in 2016 and subsequently chaired Owen Smith’s leadership campaign.

Everything Labour.
Every weekday morning.

By clicking ‘subscribe’ you confirm you have read and agree to our privacy policy

More from LabourList