‘I walked the streets with Keir campaigning and really supported him but I’m shocked at the way he has treated his predecessor. I’m seriously considering leaving the party.’ (Labour member who voted for Keir Starmer to be party leader)
‘I have never been more disappointed in a new Labour leader in over 40 years of being a member and supporter. Not just over Corbyn and anti-semitism but by abandoning his pledges and failing to secure a clear lead over the most incompetent and corrupt Tory Government in history (whose actions have literally led to thousands of unnecessary deaths) he has proved himself unfit for the role.’ (Labour member who voted for Keir Starmer to be party leader)
Keir Starmer’s behaviour towards Jeremy Corbyn and his reaction to the NEC’s decision to reinstate the former leader has angered and upset a large chunk of his support base.
Over 200 people who voted for Starmer to be party leader responded to a survey sent out by Labour Grassroots and many of them were clearly disappointed and angry about his recent actions.
Between one-third and a half of people who had backed Keir Starmer for leader disagreed with the decisions he has made in the past week.
As can be seen with the question of Jeremy Corbyn’s reinstatement, nearly 50% of Starmer supporters were in favour of the NEC’s decision.
The response to the Labour leader’s criticism of the NEC decision saw 37% of his supporters in opposition to his position.
These are some of the comments made on this issue:
‘He has directly contradicted one of the main findings of the EHRC report in that ‘it is not legitimate for the leadership to influence, make recommendations, or make decisions on complaints outside of the formal complaints process.’ (Labour member who voted for Keir Starmer to be party leader)
‘For a barrister to break the rules of the party is extraordinary and authoritarian It does not bode well for the future unity of the party to behave in this high handed way. He needs to show he is a democrat.’ (Labour member who voted for Keir Starmer to be party leader)
‘He is supposed to be a QC yet he is breaking rules and ignoring the correct procedures. The decision to drag this out for three months is particularly terrible. It may make some people happy but I don’t think the majority of the public will be impressed with this dragging on when he she should be focusing on coronavirus, the impending economic disaster that is Brexit, and opposing the Tories. It looks petty and childish and has damaged his credibility, as well as making the party look bad for being divided at a time when the attention should be on the Tories and the epic shit show that they have created.’ (Labour member who voted for Keir Starmer to be party leader)
Again 37% of Starmer supporters believe Corbyn should get the Labour whip back.
But the 43% who agree with Starmer are loyal and believe he has actually enhanced his reputation. These are some comments made by them:
‘We need a strong leader to build a party that is electable.’
‘It is essential that the party takes clear steps to bring an end to allegations of antisemitism, even if those steps, looked at in isolation, are heavy-handed.’
‘It will help improve our poll ratings.’
Starmer’s supporters have clearly split over this issue.
Some of them abhor Corbyn and believe that withdrawing the whip was exactly the right thing to do.
Other Starmer supporters were loyal to the last Labour leader and believed that Starmer was a continuity candidate. This belief has now been shattered.
‘I am very disappointed in Keir Starmer, having voted for him because he said he supported all the policies that had been in the 2017 and 2019 Manifestos.‘
‘He’s been divisive and petty.‘
- This Sunday’s ‘Not the Andrew Marr Show’ (10:30-11:30am), will feature a discussion with Labour members across the country about their views on what’s happened in the past week. We’ll also be speaking to Thelma Walker (a Labour member for 40 years and former MP) who has just left the party, Ian Hodson (National President of the Bakers’ Union) about why his union is considering dropping its support for the Labour Party and Howard Beckett (a Unite the Union representative on the NEC).
Register below to watch or take part.