John McDonnell Faces Losing Labour Whip Over Stop The War Rally Appearance

The former shadow chancellor is due to speak at the 'No War In Ukraine' event in London.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell at a protest outside Uber's office in London last year.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell at a protest outside Uber's office in London last year.
Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images

John McDonnell faces losing the Labour whip if he speaks at a Stop The War rally in London, HuffPost UK has learned.

The former shadow chancellor is scheduled to speak at the ’No To War In Ukraine’ event tonight.

It comes after Labour leader Keir Starmer warned that any party member who draws a “false equivalence” between Nato and the actions of Russia in Ukraine would be kicked out of the party.

Starmer also ordered 11 Labour MPs to remove their names from a Stop The War letter on the crisis last week.

According to the eventbrite website, McDonnell is due to appear alongside former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at a rally organised by Stop The War in Conway Hall, London, tonight.

Others scheduled to speak include the group’s founder, Lindsey German, veteran activist Tariq Ali and National Education Union general secretary, Kevin Courtney.

An advert for the rally, with John McDonnell listed as a speaker.
An advert for the rally, with John McDonnell listed as a speaker.
Eventbrite

A description of the rally says: “We oppose Russian military intervention in Ukraine. We also recognise this is a conflict thirty years in the making, a conflict in which Britain is playing a provocative role - talking up war, decrying diplomacy and supplying arms to Ukraine as well as supporting increased military deployments to neighbouring countries.

“Leading figures from the anti-war movement will provide insight and analysis missing from most media coverage. We must ensure that the anti-war campaign is prepared and organised to pull us back from the precipice - so come along on Wednesday.”

HuffPost UK asked the Hayes and Harlington MP whether he still planned to speak at the rally, but received no reply.

A Labour source said: “If he goes, he’ll lose the whip. Any Labour MPs who speak at anything that is anti-Nato from now on are likely to be out.”

At a meeting of the parliamentary Labour party on Monday, Keir Starmer made it clear than any member who does not support Nato would be kicked out.

He said: “Labour’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law and the sovereignty of independent nations is unshakable.

“Vladimir Putin is attacking all those things. Nato is defending them.

“There are groups in this country who haven’t seemed to understand that difference.

“Let me be very clear. There will be no place in this party for false equivalence between the actions of Russia and the actions of Nato.”

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