Keir Starmer Accused Of 'Behaving Like Putin' By Axing Jeremy Corbyn

A close ally of the former Labour leader compared his successor to the Russian president.
Jon Lansman says Keir Starmer is like Vladimir Putin
Jon Lansman says Keir Starmer is like Vladimir Putin
PA Images

Keir Starmer has been accused of behaving like Vladimir Putin by blocking Jeremy Corbyn from being a Labour candidate at the next election.

The party’s ruling NEC will formally back Starmer’s bid to prevent the former leader from standing again in Islington North.

He said Corbyn’s presence on the ballot paper would “significantly diminish” the party’s election chances.

But Jon Lansman, a key Corbyn ally, today condemned Starmer and compared him to the brutal Russian leader.

He told Times Radio: “We’re a democratic party. This is not an authoritarian party.

“Keir Starmer, unfortunately, is behaving as if he was some kind of Putin of the Labour Party. That is not the way we do politics.”

But Labour MP Margaret Hodge hit back: “When I heard that, I thought, it’s half laughable but actually, it’s totally inappropriate and ridiculous to compare a dictator fighting a war to someone who has zero tolerance against racism in the form of anti-semitism in the Labour Party, and who is fighting for what is right.”

Corbyn was elected as a Labour MP in 1983, but has been sitting as an independent since losing the party whip in 2020 after claiming anti-semitism in the party while he was leader had been “overstated” by his political opponents.

Starmer’s motion said the “Labour Party’s standing with the electorate in the country, and its electoral prospects in seats it is required to win in order to secure a parliamentary majority and/or win the next general election, are both significantly diminished should Mr Corbyn be endorsed by the Labour Party as one of its candidates for the next general election”.

It went on to say Labour’s hopes of victory in 2024 “are not well served by Mr Corbyn running as a Labour Party candidate”.


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