Labour: Left has to 'regroup' says Len McCluskey
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In his memoirs due to be published next month, the hard-left socialist launches a scathing assessment of Sir Keir’s time at the helm, warning Labour’s ship could “go under” under his tenure. The damning book is being published to mark Mr McCLuskey’s retirement as he steps down as Unite general secretary.
He accuses Sir Keir of “vapid New Labour cliches” that will see Red Wall voters once again back the Conservatives at the next election.
The close ally of Mr Corbyn also attacks the current leader for an “anti-democratic crackdown on the left”.
Sir Keir suspended his predecessor from the part in October 2020 after he said claims of anti-Semitism in Labour had been “exaggerated” and were a “factional attack”.
He made his remarks after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission published a report warning of “serious failings” to stamp out racism under Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the party.
In Mr McCluskey memoirs, titled Always Red, several pages of “sensitive material” have been redacted by publishers until the book goes on sale next month.
The missing sections refer to what happened in the aftermath of the Islington North MP’s suspension from the party.
They include a showdown with Sir Keir and a feisty meeting with deputy leader Angela Rayner.
Contents of the redacted copy is likely to worry those in the Labour leadership, with Mr McCluskey making clear he has no issue with divulging the details of the private conversations.
Of his meeting with Ms Rayner, he writes: “Angela began by requesting our discussion be confidential.
“Given what happened subsequently, I no longer feel bound by that.”
In another section after heavy redaction, he says: “I am so confident of the account I have given here that I have submitted it for use in legal proceedings and will stand by it in court.”
In a critical chapter about Sir Keir following Mr Corbyn’s suspension, the union boss questions if the leader is a “babe in the woods” or “altogether more calculating”.
While the former leader was re-admitted to the party last November after an investigation into his remarks, Sir Keir has continued to withhold the Labour whip from his predecessor.
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It means he is banned from being a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party and cannot sit with Labour MPs in the House of Commons.
Giving his devastating verdict of Sir Keir following the fallout from Mr Corbyn’s suspension. Mr McCluskey writes: “I still hoped and believed that Keir Starmer could be Prime Minister.
“But I was fearful that if he continued on the course set in his first year of leadership he would not win back the red wall seats.
“If a general election was called early, which seemed possible, Starmer would have little time to rectify his mistakes.
“He still had the opportunity to change course, unite his party around a radical platform and make the promised ‘moral case for socialism’.
“But he needed to realise that if the ship he was captaining listed too far to the right, it would go under.”
Mr McCluskey will step down as general secretary later this month when the results of the contest to pick his successor are announced.
Always Red will be published on September 28 by OR Books.
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