Starmer Plays a Blinder
Keir Starmer has made all the right movies since becoming the new leader of the Labour Party.
First of all he apologised to the UK's Jewish community in words that Jeremy Corbyn could never have said, so he got off to a great start.
Secondly he made appointments to Labour's front bench on the basis of talent and ability while getting shot of the worst disciples of the Corbyn cult.
Thirdly, Starmer set up an independent inquiry into a leaked report which appears to have been released by disgruntled, outgoing members of Team Corbyn with the task of investigating:
"First, the background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned and the process involved. Second, the contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report. Third, the circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain.”
Now this is the proper and professional thing to do because it will expose the leakers and their motives, as well as the targets of the leak.
Leaked report shows bitter Labour Party splits
The report says that ideological infighting hindered the party leadership from effectively tackling antisemitism - Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/GETTY IMAGES
By Lucy Fisher - The Times
Sir Keir Starmer launched an investigation last night into a leaked report on Labour’s handling of complaints that appears to lay bare the bitter splits within the party under the leadership of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.
The dossier is thought to have been compiled by left-wing internal party figures. It includes a series of vitriolic anti-Corbynite messages, which the report claims were private WhatsApp communications between centrist staff who worked at party headquarters. It suggests these underscore its conclusion that the left-wing party leadership was hindered from effectively tackling antisemitism — and other disciplinary matters — by ideological infighting.
In a joint statement released by Sir Keir and Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, the pair said that the investigation would examine three areas around the leaked report: “First, the background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned and the process involved. Second, the contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report. Third, the circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain.”
It is understood that an independent commissioner will be appointed to conduct the review.
Their intervention came as it emerged that centrist staff named in the report plan to sue its unnamed authors, and whoever leaked it, for libel. Allegations of data protection breaches were also levied.
The report published alleged transcripts of private WhatsApp conversations in which Corbynites were branded “nutters” and a senior female Corbyn loyalist was described as “crazy” and a “bitch face cow”.
It was originally due to be passed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is investigating Labour, but the party’s lawyers advised against its submission fearing it could damage the wider case, according to Sky News.
Last May the equalities watchdog placed the party under formal investigation over whether it had unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.
Some Labour figures sought yesterday to paper over the past divisions revealed in the report, urging colleagues to avoid an internal row in the midst of a global health crisis.
Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda, said on Twitter: “At a time like this it would be utterly self-indulgent for anyone in the Labour Party to engage in a bout of internecine blood letting.”
However, others demanded action. John Spellar, a centrist, said on social media: “How about an inquiry into how it [the report] was leaked and by who?”
The left-wing MPs Ian Lavery and Jon Trickett called for “a transparent process to investigate the conduct alleged in the leaked document”.