Starmer is taking us for fools

Although it has now dropped its Rochdale candidate, Finchley Church End councillor Eva Greenspan says Labour’s attempt to stand by Azhar Ali after he backed an antisemitic conspiracy theory shows the party hasn’t changed

Labour leader Keir Starmer talking to staff in Boots in Whetstone
Keir Starmer talks to staff in Boots in Whetstone – (Credit – David Floyd)

Sir Keir Starmer KC graced Barnet with his presence last month. 

During his visit, he was asked by Barnet Post why, given his party’s recent track record on the issue, Jewish voters in Barnet should trust the Labour Party on antisemitism. 

Starmer responded: “Because we’ve changed the Labour Party fundamentally. The first and most important task of my leadership was to rip that antisemitism out by its roots, and we did it at speed and ruthlessly – making absolutely no apologies for that, it was absolutely needed.’’ 

Less than a month later, the same man attempted to stand by his candidate in Rochdale after his conspiracy theory speech to Labour members was revealed. 

Azhar Ali’s remarks are consistent with the diatribe uttered by those who try their best to disregard the fears of Jews. The diatribe used to completely dehumanise the Jewish experience post-October 7th.

The diatribe follows a trend that always tries to attribute blame to the sole Jewish state in the world for all of the world’s issues – even when it is that state that has been the victim of a deadly attack. 

For the Labour Party to try to stand by Ali because it was too late to change candidates was cowardice – and shows that the mask has indeed slipped off and the Labour Party of Corbyn that Starmer has convinced himself he’s changed is absolute rubbish. 

Colleagues in Jewish Labour say the Labour Party has changed, and yet the membership doesn’t bat an eyelid when antisemitic conspiracies are shared at their meetings – the candidate for Rochdale should have been disciplined many months ago.

If one was more forgiving one could say that Labour are in a very difficult position and their hands were bound. However, for a frontbench member of the Labour Party [Lisa Nandy] to confirm [on Sunday] that Ali would still retain the whip if he won was unforgivable. Utterly unforgivable. 

So when Sir Keir Starmer KC says to the people of Barnet and this country’s Jewish population that “we’ve changed the Labour Party fundamentally” we cannot believe him. He’s taking us for fools.

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