Politics

Labour crisis EXPOSED: Andrew Marr savages Ed Miliband on party revolt in BBC interview

THE DEPTH of the crisis facing Labour was exposed during a heated row on the BBC this morning, as Andrew Marr grilled Ed Miliband on Sir Keir Starmer’s plans to “purge the left”.

Chaos erupted in the Labour Party late this week when party leader Sir Keir Starmer abruptly decided to sack shadow minister Rebecca Long-Bailey over anti-semitism allegations. This decision has plunged the party into a factional war between Sir Keir and the hard-left Corybnite wing of Labour. Ed Miliband desperately tried to squash claims of a revolt against Sir Keir, claiming that the party leader was trying to “unify the party”.

Ms Long-Bailey, formerly the Shadow Education Secretary, was dismissed after sharing an article that “contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”, according to the Labour Party.

Mr Miliband, who serves as the Shadow Business Secretary, backed Sir Keir’s decision to sack Ms Long-Bailey.

He explained: “Keir recognises the gravity of the hurt to the Jewish community over the years, following our failure to deal with anti-Semitism.”

Marr fired back at this, saying that Ms Long-Bailey’s defence of her actions was “perfectly reasonable”.

He added: “I wonder if sacking her so abruptly was an overreaction?”

The MP responded: “I don’t think there can be a sense of overreaction when you know the scale of the problem we face.”

While Mr Miliband did not think Ms Long-Bailey was antisemitic, he told Marr: “I think she made a significant error of judgement.”

Marr brought up the bitter row erupting inside the Labour Party, pointing out that senior MP John McDonnell defied Sir Keir Starmer by standing in solidarity with his sacked ally.

When questioned if Mr McDonnell would be punished, Mr Miliband said: “Nothing will be done about him. People want to make this into a wider issue.

“I’ve heard people earlier on the show talking about how Keir wants to purge these people, or those people.

“Hes not about purges, I know the guy. Hes a principled guy, hes a guy with integrity, he wants to change this country by unifying the party but also not get mired in issues that provide a stain on us.”

Marr responded: “But it’s hardly zero tolerance if Rebecca Long-Bailey is removed but McDonnell and many other MPs who stand in solidarity are not disciplined.”

Mr Miliband raged: “Come on Andrew! Keir is not going to expel everyone in Labour Party. Keir took very strong action and now we need to move on.”

Marr continued: “The Left of the Labour party are really worried about this. Some people are really angry and many are even leaving the party over this. Is this not a wider purge of the left, as many fear?”

Mr Miliband said: “Of course it isn’t! On policy, there is a lot more that unites us than divides us.”

“Hes not about purges, I know the guy. Hes a principled guy, hes a guy with integrity, he wants to change this country by unifying the party.” Sir Keir Starmer is “not about purges” says Ed Miliband

The Times journalist Philip Collins later remarked: “Why is Ed Miliband shouting? I don’t usually watch these dreadful politics shows. Do people always shout like this? I’ll turn it off.”

Others said that the interview quickly descended into “a shambles”.

One viewer tweeted: “Ed Miliband looks like hes gonna explode.”

Another added: “Ed Miliband utterly unconvincing on Long-Bailey sacking/anti-Semitism.”

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