Exclusive: Eight affiliated trade unions urge Labour to resolve Corbyn whip row

Sienna Rodgers
© UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

The leaders of eight trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party have signed a joint statement expressing “concerns” over the unresolved situation regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s whip, LabourList can reveal.

The fresh statement explains that unions met with Keir Starmer last week to call for the whip to be restored to the former party leader and put forward concerns that Labour has recently been “distracted by internal wrangling”.

It suggests that the ongoing row over the whip is “causing deep division in our party” that “will not be understood or forgiven by the British public”, and concludes: “We urge all parties to resolve this matter quickly.”

The general secretaries of left-wing affiliated unions Unite, CWU, FBU, ASLEF, TSSA, NUM and BFAWU all signed a statement in October expressing “serious concerns” over the original suspension of Corbyn from the party.

But the general secretary of Community, Roy Rickhuss, has also signed up on this occasion to the statement issued jointly by unions about Corbyn. The union nominated Starmer for the leadership earlier this year.

Starmer last weekend told the Jewish Labour Movement conference that he was “disappointed” with Corbyn’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report, saying it was “as bad as you could get”.

His predecessor was suspended in October after claiming that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents” in response to the probe that found Labour responsible for unlawful acts.

Below is the full text of the statement and signatories.

At a meeting with Keir Starmer (Monday 23rd November) unions expressed concerns at the situation regarding Jeremy Corbyn and called for the Labour whip to be restored to him.

In the face of millions losing their jobs and a disgraceful imposition by the government of a public sector pay freeze, we have been distracted by internal wrangling, which is causing deep division in our party and will not be understood or forgiven by the British public.

We urge all parties to resolve this matter quickly.

Dave Ward – CWU
Matt Wrack – FBU
Mick Whelan – ASLEF
Manuel Cortes – TSSA
Ian Hodson – BFAWU
Sarah Woolley – BFAWU
Chris Kitchen – NUM
Roy Rickhuss – Community
Len McCluskey – Unite

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