What Starmer said about Corbyn, the EHRC and anti-Semitism

JVL Introduction

Mike Sivier takes his readers through a series of tweets by Alex Nunns, Corbyn’s former speech writer.

He asks what consequences are implied for Keir Starmer.

This article was originally published by Vox Political on Mon 2 Nov 2020. Read the original here.

Starmer lied over Corbyn, the EHRC and anti-Semitism. Shouldn’t he quit as Labour leader now?

Alex Nunns used to be Jeremy Corbyn’s speech writer, so it is true that he has a stake in this debate.

But his analysis of Keir Starmer’s role in the decision to suspend Corbyn’s Labour Party membership – a much larger role than the current Labour leader wanted to admit and one that puts him in breach of EHRC recommendations he promised to uphold – is carried out in such a way as to foil all critics.

At first he said general secretary David Evans took the action, but then added “I’m not going to shy away from difficult decisions”, and “we made a very difficult decision”. He shouldn’t have been anywhere near it but clearly he was.

Worse follows:

The above is self-explanatory. On the day he said he would honour the recommendations of the EHRC report, Starmer contradicted one – and a major one at that.

It was going to look like a political decision, no matter what. Notice of investigations – let alone suspensions – should only ever be issued after the Labour Party has received a complaint about a party member. Who complained about Corbyn?

As far as anybody can tell, nobody did. And if it was made by the general secretary – whether in consultation with the party leader or not…

Then there’s the issue of whether the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) – the party employees who investigate complaints against members – is subject to political interference itself.

There was considerable controversy when it was alleged that someone was appointed to the GLU in a political appointment by Jeremy Corbyn – but it seems Starmer has done the same:

Starmer has gone on to lie – on television – about the statement made by Jeremy Corbyn that led to his suspension:

So Starmer lied about Corbyn; he has been misrepresenting what Corbyn said in an attempt to make his words seem worse than they were.

Starmer also lied about the EHRC report; he either participated in or oversaw political interference when the report demanded an end to it, and he appears to have participated in unlawful indirect discrimination against Corbyn.

We already know that the current Labour leadership is lying about anti-Semitism; Angela Rayner’s words in an interview yesterday show that neither she, nor Starmer, nor Evans (it seems) have any interest in whether an allegation of anti-Semitism is accurate. They say if a statement causes “hurt” or “distress”, that is enough. It isn’tAnybody can say a comment caused them distress and it won’t matter a fig. The only way to judge these allegations is against a set of clear definitions – such as the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism that Labour has adopted and that Corbyn did not break anywhere in his statement.

Otherwise, a high-profile suspension like Corbyn’s may lead to counter-allegations of libel by the Labour  Party (as embodied in its general secretary, Evans).

These are big lies, for which Starmer has no defence.

He has deliberately tried to mislead party members and the general public.

In This Writer’s opinion, that makes him unfit to lead the Labour Party.

(If I’m honest, it makes him unfit to be a member of the Labour Party).

He needs to go – now. And if he won’t go willingly, he should be removed. Let’s see a call for a Vote Of ‘No Confidence’ from the membership. Who’ll table it?


Links to all JVL statements and other articles on the EHRC report

Comments (26)

  • Steve Griffiths says:

    I agree. It’s hard to see what the strategic way forward would be from that conclusion, but I think very many Labour members would find it hard to campaign for a party led by a clearly duplicitous leader representing largely the parliamentary rump and the Guardian, and who misrepresented his intention as a candidate. The NEC elections will tell us a lot. Personally, I would support a no confidence motion. He leaves us no alternative. Tragic.

  • John Webster says:

    I’m afraid the NEC elections will be a big disappointment for ‘the Left’. In my experience the vast majority of Labour Party members are utterly confused about what antisemitism is. The media noise makes it clear that it is ‘bad’ for the Labour Party. They will therefore largely vote for Starmer ‘allies’. There will be a clamour to ‘leave’ the Labour Party. This is exactly what Starmer wants. Some will leave and for a while this may stimulate British politics – and there may be some dividend in this, but if its focus is as an electoral alternative to Labour it will fail given the nature of our electoral system. In the long run Starmer and company will be exposed and attitudes will change – and people will come to see that branding criticism of Israel as antisemitic is nonsense. Let’s take a lesson from the Palestinians: patience.

  • Jane Terris says:

    No confidence motion and formal complaint against both David Evans and Keir Starmer. This is diabolical interference and shows Starmer’s true colours and illegal moves.

  • Brilliant synopsis of Starmer’s stich-up of Corbyn. There are very strong echoes here of his sacking of Rebecca Long Bailey. No wonder the SCG is shaking in its boots.

  • RC says:

    Alex Nunn’s enthusiasm to find criteria by which to acquit Corbyn leads him to mistake the IHRA “definition” of AS. There is nothing certain about it; its vagueness is designed to allow any defender of Palestinian rights to be charged with (usually) imaginary AS; See Rebecca Gould’s article on this. Corbyn does not need acquitting from charges of AS – no such charge carries any validity. His errors lie on the other side – gullibly, he assumed the torrent of allegations was about AS, not about foreign policy. HIs policy of surrender led to his downfall. Many think grovelling to the right-wing of the LP and and of British society (not to mention of the Jewish communities) will pacify them. NO – they have tasted blood and are ever thirstier for more. Look at CAA Joe Glasman’s victory video – available on this website where our case against this’ charity’ is set out. The Left and the working class have suffered a great defeat. Starmer et al aim to confirm this victory by expulsions (the GS has proclaimed his intention to expel any critical commenter on the EHRC report on the charge of AS) and putting CLPs into administration (personal knowledge).
    Collaboration or unity with these people is political suicide.

  • Matthew Rogers says:

    The dilemma for party members is ‘To leave or not to leave’ but it should be ‘To be or not to be’ The LP even with the weak and duplicitous Starmer in charge is the only possible alternative to a reckless Conservative Government in the foreseeable future. Stay and fight for the soul of the Party but take the gloves off and stop being so polite.

  • Peter Wingate says:

    I, 100%, back the sasserions made in this article . Starmer has lied, broken the EHRC’s rulings has interfered directly in the removal of Jeremy Corbyn, and more.,

  • David Boyle says:

    For me JC should have suspended KL
    Immediately, failing to do so shows a lack of leadership and Starmer has acted more decisively against a blatant refusal to acknowledge racism in the party , fair play.

    I’m a very left wing party member who left recently due to anti Semitic activity, principally corbyn’s foot-dragging in getting Ken out and will now re-join.

  • Allan Howard says:

    RC, regards your criticisms of Jeremy – all completely unwarranted and specious – you cite the analogy about about ‘tasting blood’ etc – just as others have used the analogy about standing up to bullies – and what both actually amount to are cliches, and cliched thinking. Does anyone really believe for one millisecond that had Jeremy refuted claims of A/S or said that they had been massively overstated and exaggerated, that the saboteurs and smearers would have backed off and not wanted more ‘blood’. Of course they wouldn’t have! And the same goes for the ‘bully’ cliche – ie If you submit to the bullies they’ll just keep bullying you – which has been repeated endlessly on skwawkbox, for example. Oh, sure, if only Jeremy had fought back against the bullies they would have stopped bullying him. Of course they wouldn’t have!

    But what these cliches amount to when used in relation to Jeremy is blaming the victim INSTEAD of the blood suckers or the bullies – ie the smearers. There WAS no ‘surrendering’ or ‘grovelling’, and you are not only perpertrating falsehoods, but also falsely discrediting Jeremy. He was in a no-win situation and would have just been vilified and condemned and demonised if and when he HAD ‘fought back’.

    Oh, but perhaps you can remind me what happened when he/the LP condemned the Panorama program, or what happened just recently when he said the A/S problem in the Labour Party had been massively oversteated by opponents both within and without the party and the MSM.

    There it is stareing people right in the face what happens when Jeremy DOES speak out, but it appears that some people are either blind, or they have an agenda to discredit him in the eyes of the left!

  • Terry McInnes says:

    He should never have been leader in the first place. get him out now.

  • Richard Pink says:

    I have no confidence in the Labour Parties handling of Antisemitism complaints because from my experience the Labour Party confuses criticism of Israeli Government policy and when someone criticises someone who happens to be Jewish. It is quite possible to criticise Israeli government policies and anyone who follows the faith of Judaism simply because they are doing something wrong, it has nothing to do with racism or a hatred of all Jewish people. There seems to be some severe blurring of the lines in the people making complaints and then the people in the Labour party dealing with the complaints.

  • Peter Johnston says:

    This seems to be cut and dried. Is there anybody who can listen and act? Is it down to members?

  • Alan kempton says:

    I have been a Labour member for some years now and a Union member ever since I started work, reading the evidence before me and the said facts Keir Starmer needs to do the decent thing and resign as leader of the Labour Party, before he brings anymore shame and ridicule on our party, there is no room in our working persons party for self entitled politicians of lies and corruption especially when influenced by financial lobbyists

  • Starmer should be sacked along with his General secretary. They broke the law and its obviously a person vendetta still going on in the labour party .also if your going to get rid Antisemitism its needs to be investigated in all parties .

  • Peter Gartshore says:

    This is all very interesting but fundamentally we all know the ideological purpose is to silence the left within a right wing Labour Party. My question to Corbyn and all those who claim to be Socialist still members is why would you want to prop up a neo liberal warmongering Party? We have had 27 years of neo liberalism. Now is the time to break the mold. Socialism has been set back because of poor strategic errors from the left. Let’s grasp the moment and grow a new progressive non sectarian movement

  • MAX COOK says:

    I’d gladly table it, Starmer, Raynor and Evans are no longer fit for purpose, if they EVER were.

  • SuSan Jones says:

    Starmer is a sly and devious member of the Labour party and should be relieved if his position as labour leader before he further damages the party.

  • ged hull says:

    AFTER 76 YEARS I have ripped up my membership of the Labour Party, I can no longer support a party that is run by a bunch of Tory-supporting right-wing backstabbers, they ruined our chances of winning a general election, not once BUT TWICE, the voted AGAINST a twice-elected leader, gave out false ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HIM, and are the enemy within the party. until they are got rid of and our VOTED LEADER MR CORBYN IS REINSTATED, there is on Labour Party, just A BUNCH OF SCUMBAGS WHO ARE WORKING AAGAINST THE IDEA OF SOCIALISM

  • Allan Howard says:

    I just happened to come across the following article again a couple of days ago whilst doing some research, an article I had completely forgotten about, and although none of the examples given in the article relate to the anti-semitism smear campaign, it never-the-less reinforces what I said in my earlier post:

    ‘Here’s proof that no matter what Corbyn says or does, the establishment media will attack him’


    NB Towards the end of the article it quotes the London Economic as saying – or ‘reporting’ – the following:

    If our mainstream press has become a propaganda machine for the right-wing, it’s no wonder that the first openly socialist leader Britain has had in twenty years has been the victim of perhaps the longest continuous smear campaign ever seen against a politician in the UK…

    Needless to say, much of the mainstream press has ALWAYS been the propaganda machine for the Establishment, but the thing that has changed in the past ten to twenty years – as they made crystal clear during Jeremy’s tenure as leader, and since – is that the Guardian and the Independent – and even the Mirror – have all been a party to the A/S smear campaign (and OTHER smears) to some degree or other AND become part of that propaganda machine. As with the BBC and ITV News and Channel 4 News, along with the mainstream radio stations.

  • Martin Waring says:

    I never trusted Starmer since the night when he turned against Jeremy’s policy of accepting the result of the referendum. That was at best a big error of judgement. He’s now driving out the left of the party by his actions. Labour is finished as far as I am concerned.

  • Allan Howard says:

    Just checked out this Indy article about Jeremy’s suspension, and it includes more material re what the saboteurs/smearers said in respect of Jeremy’s suspension – ie their false and phony ‘reactions’ AND their faux outrage:


    Every single one of them undoubtedly knows about the survey conducted for the authors of Bad News For Labour last year and the 34% figure, and they ALSO undoubtedly know that the actual figure is 0.3%. And of COURSE they know why there’s a massive disparity between the actuality and the public perception, because THEY – and many others – just spent the past five years ‘creating’ and fabricating that perception!

  • Miranda Tunnicliffe says:

    Unity huh! Anyone would think he’s working for the opposition. Procedure was not followed by Keir. According to guidelines in the report. I waded through it and could see why Jeremy welcomed it. It actually acknowledges the work the leadership had done since 2018 to address the problem of Anti-Semitism.
    It had issues with exactly what Keir did. Using it as a political tool. Corbyn bashing wins votes, but it’s hardly defending Labour values. Or creating unity within the party. Come on Keir sort it out. To the politically aware you look like a slime ball.

  • Terry McInnes says:

    Get rid of Starmer, Blair, Mandelson and all involved in the coup against Corbyn and the membership and strip them all of their titles.

  • brian Kelly says:

    Thank goodness for Starmer’s legendary “Forensic” skills in analyzing and interpreting complex legal documents and situations.
    Hell only knows what a totally disastrous situation the Party would be in if he did not so obviously possess these skills in abundance.

  • Ben Haywood says:

    Great piece 👏👏
    Keep up the good work 👍

  • Kuhnberg says:

    Yes, and Stalin’s opponents could have drawn up a charge sheet to justify expelling him from his post as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. And doing so would have been just as pointless as this. Starmer has hold of the PLP, the media and much of the public; no-one is going to dislodge him, however easy it would be to prove that he has defied the rules of the party and the edicts of the EHRIC. What we can do is set up a rival opposition party with a charismatic leader and Corbyn In the role of elder statesman. We might not win any seats, but we would certainly spoil things for Labour in the local elections, and pretty soon Starmer would be calling cap in hand asking us to desist. At which point we could tell him to get lost.

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