Ed Miliband says Long-Bailey sacking was 'right decision'

  • Ed Miliband says Long-Bailey sacking was 'right decision'

Ed Miliband says Long-Bailey sacking was 'right decision'

The leader of the Labour opposition in the UK, Sir Keir Starmer, has been widely applauded for making his gutsiest move since winning the position almost three months ago after sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey from his shadow cabinet for sharing a tweet which contained a ludicrous anti-Semitic, anti-Israel conspiracy theory.

Sir Keir's decision to remove Ms Long-Bailey, who stood as the continuity Corbynite candidate for leader following Labour's election disaster last December, sparked fury among leading left-wing figures who accused him of starting a purge.

The Labour leader said he was right to axe his former challenger from her job as shadow education secretary after she retweeted an interview with the ex-Communist actress Maxine Peake.

A spokesman for the Labour leader confirmed he had asked her to step aside, and stressed his commitment to "restoring trust with the Jewish community".

And he claimed allies of Ms Prolonged-Bailey who have criticised her sacking - these types of as previous shadow chancellor John McDonnell and ex-party chair Ian Lavery - would not be disciplined for performing so.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "The problem is that, over the centuries, when calamitous things have happened, Jews have been blamed and that's why there was an anti-Semitism issue in relation to this, and that's why I believe Keir took the right decision".

A war party of MPs from the Socialist Campaign Group, including ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn, met Sir Keir on Friday, in a bid to force a U-turn.

Mr Miliband said he had not shrunk from criticism of the actions of the Israeli government in the past and believed what was going on in the West Bank was "appalling".

He also said that Mr Starmer is trying to stop Labour being "mired" in issues which are a "stain" on the party.

Long-Bailey, however, insisted it was not "racist or anti-Semitic" to draw attention to concerns about police tactics.

Nevertheless, Sir Keir still has a very long way to go to prove to the British public - not preening celebrities such as Peake or partisan journalists like Pilger, who have become so fond of simultaneously bashing both Israel and Jews in recent years - that he can eliminate the scourge of anti-Semitism from the Labour Party for good. He is not about purges.

He added: 'I took the view that it was anti-Semitism.

Following Long-Bailey's dismissal, Peake acknowledged that her comments in an interview with the Independent had been "inaccurate".

"While I may well disagree with some of her examination on trans rights, it was erroneous of me to suggest that she used her have terrible knowledge in something other than very good faith", he additional.

Out of those polled, 43% said they would vote Tory at the next election, compared to 39% choosing Labour.