Sam Tarry Sacked For 'Making Up Policy On The Hoof', Says Keir Starmer

The Labour leader has angered unions and many on the left of his party.
Danny Lawson via PA Wire/PA Images

Keir Starmer has defended sacking Sam Tarry, accusing him of making up “policy on the hoof”.

The Labour leader has angered the unions and the leftwing of his party after he fired Tarry from his job as a shadow transport minister.

Tarry had publicly backed the rail strikes and gave a round of media interviews without permission from party HQ on Wednesday.

In an interview on Thursday, Starmer said: “Sam Tarry was sacked because he booked himself onto media programmes without permission.

“And then made up policy on the hoof, and that can’t be tolerated in any organisation because we’ve got collective responsibility. So that was relatively straightforward.”

Labour’s leadership has not officially supported the industrial action, to the fury of many in the party.

John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, said it was a “severe mistake” to have sacked Tarry and accused Starmer of “misreading the mood of the public” and backed calls for a general strike.

GMB general secretary Gary Smith said it was a “huge own goal” for Labour to “turn a Tory transport crisis into a Labour story”.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) general secretary Manuel Cortes, RMT boss Mick Lynch and Unite general secretary Sharon Graham all criticised Starmer’s decision.

Tarry is a former official of the TSSA union and said it had been a “privilege” to serve on Labour’s top team.

“I remain committed to supporting the striking rail workers, and campaigning for a Labour victory at the next general election, which I will fight for relentlessly from the backbenches,” he said following his sacking.


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