Open Letter to Keir Starmer on the Dismissal of Rebecca Long-Bailey

This letter was sent to Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer on 27 June 2020. No response was received.

If you wish to support the letter, please send your name and CLP to starmerletter@gmail.com

Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey

Dear Keir,

As members of the Labour Party, we have been shocked by your abrupt and authoritarian decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet.

The reason given for this action is specious indeed. It is not and cannot be Rebecca’s retweeting of Maxine Peake’s interview. The allegedly antisemitic section of that interview is one sentence only, stating that: “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.” This allegation is rebutted right away in the same interview, with the interviewer commenting between brackets: “A spokesperson for the Israeli police has denied this, stating that ‘there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway’.”

Even if plainly wrong, Maxine Peake’s statement would not constitute an instance of antisemitic “conspiracy theory” unless the meaning of these words is completely devalued. The statement refers to the well-known and indisputable fact that the Israeli state has been providing training to US police forces, as shown by this comment published by the US branch of Amnesty International.

The sad truth is that your decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey was not a reaction to her retweeting of that interview, but a further instance of bowing to the pressure of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. This is unacceptable and gives this institution unwarranted power over the internal affairs of our party. After the Ten Pledges that the Board of Deputies got candidates to the latest leadership contest in the Labour Party to sign, including Rebecca Long-Bailey herself, here it is interfering again in internal party affairs, not contenting itself with blaming Rebecca but questioning her “suitability” to the role of Shadow Education Secretary as if the board were part of the Labour Party leading bodies.

This is utterly unjust and unacceptable. The Board of Deputies cannot be both judge and jury in matters related to the Israeli state of which it has always been an unconditional backer. Accepting its judgement on issues related to Israel and acting within the party upon this judgement severely compromises the Labour Party’s stance on Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people. It amounts to granting the Board of Deputies a censorship prerogative over all pronouncements criticising the ultra-right government of Israel made by members of the party and, by way of this prerogative, a direct say on the party’s internal life and its outside representation and action.

We believe that it is highly important to repair this serious misstep by immediately reinstating Rebecca Long-Bailey in her position in the shadow cabinet.

Signatories:   

Gilbert Achcar, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Rosemary Addington, Kingston and Surbiton CLP
Avril Alexander, Oxford East CLP
Jo Alexander, Tottenham CLP
Jenny Almeida, Streatham CLP
Omar Al-Qattan, Kensington CLP
Ziad Al-Qattan, Kensington CLP
Gus Alvarez, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Veronica Alvarez, North Durham CLP
Nadia Amara, Chingford & Woodford Green CLP
Karen Ankers, Ynys Mon CLP
Steven Antoniou, Oxford CLP
Rita Appleby, Chelmsford CLP
Margaret Archer, South Shields CLP
Mandy Baker, Walthamstow CLP
Ray Barkley, Windsor CLP
Terry Barrow, Penistone and Stocksbridge CLP
Graham Bash, South Thanet CLP
Labina Basit, Uxbridge & South Ruislip CLP
Melanie L Baynes, Sheffield Central CLP
Ian Bell, Walthamstow CLP
Catherine Belsey, Cambridge CLP
Anne Benkins, Lower Wye Valley CLP
John Beresford, Leeds Central CLP
Phil Bevin, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Bhasker Bhadresha, Ilford North CLP
Laurence Biggie, Pontypridd CLP
Rica Bird, Wirral South CLP
Angie Birtill, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Katharine Bligh, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Nushi Bnazemi, Brent North CLP
Patrick Bonner, Brent North CLP
Kim Boome, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Tony Booth, Cambridge City CLP
Keith Bradbury, Cannock Chase CLP
Anne-Marie Brody, Wealden CLP
Tarin Brokenshire, Cambridge CLP
Jacqui Brown, Forest of Dean CLP
Susan Buckingham, Cambridge CLP
Erica Burman, Manchester Withington CLP
Suzanne Burns, Somerton & Frome CLP
Carole Buxton, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
Johnnie Byrne, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Ben Byrne, North Durham CLP
Chantal Cameron, Suffolk Coastal CLP
Peter Cann, Oxford East CLP
David Cannon, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Seamus Carey, Tottenham CLP
Phil Cawston, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Rita Chamber, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
John Chatham, Ynys Mon CLP
Sahail Chohan, Sheffield Heeley CLP
Nigel Clark, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Ruth Clarke, Islington North CLP
Shaun Cohen, Leeds Central CLP
Ron Cohen, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
Sylvia Cohen, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
Andy Colwell, Labour International CLP
Dee Combes, Liverpool Riverside CLP
Jane Connor, Walthamstow CLP
Terry Conway, Islington North CLP
David Cottington, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Valerie Coultas, Streatham CLP
Lisa Crane, Tamworth CLP
Ian Crawford, Cambridge CLP
Sandra Crawford, Cambridge CLP
Dane Cross, Chingford and Woodford Green CLP
Gill Crozier, Bristol South CLP
Brendan Curran, Walthamstow CLP
Mike Cushman, Streatham CLP
Selma Dabbagh, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Rada Daniell, Leyton & Wanstead CLP
Clive Darling, Warwick & Leamington CLP
Izzat Darwazeh, Islington South CLP
Rachel Darwazeh, Ynys Mon CLP
Diane Datson, Bromley & Chislehurst CLP
John Davidson, Bristol West CLP
Mary Davies, Brighton Pavilion CLP
John Davies, South Norfolk CLP
Adrienne Davis, Worthing West CLP
Suzanne de Emmony, Streatham CLP
Terry Deans, Plymouth Moor View CLP
Simon Dewsbury, Birmingham Hall Green CLP
Helen Dickson, Liverpool Wavertree CLP
Esmé Dobson, Camberwell and Peckham CLP
Colin Doherty, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
Pippa Dowswell, Chingford & Woodford Green CLP
Michael Duffy, Bootle CLP
Bridget Dunne, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Kevin Ederle, Ynys Môn CLP
Mike Eggboro, South Warringron CLP
Elaine Ellen, Ynys Môn CLP
James Elsey, Camberwell and Peckham CLP
Barry Errington, Crewe & Nantwich CLP
Bronwen Evans, Tottenham CLP
Harriet Evans, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Andrew Feinstein, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Mark Findlay, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Arye Finkle, Chipping Barmet CLP
Lesley Finlayson, Walthamstow CLP
Pete Firmin, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Tom Fisher, Walthamstow CLP
Tony Foley, Warley CLP
Nicolas Franklin-Woolley, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Tania Funston, North of Ireland CLP
Gloria George, Cities of London & Westminster CLP
Phil Gilbert, Gillingham & Rainham CLP
Mick Gilgunn, Islington North CLP
Ruth Gillett, Glasgow Kelvin CLP
Pascale Gillett, Somerton & Frome CLP
Helen Glazier, Sheffield Hallam CLP
Angela Gliddon, Ynys Mon CLP
Eluned Gold, Arfon CLP
Jonathan Golding, Cardiff North CLP
Darren Gomes, Croydon Central CLP
Martin Goodsell, Walthamstow CLP
Stephanie Grant, Tottenham CLP
Elizabeth Greener, North Durham CLP
Gary Griffiths, Woking CLP
Steve Hadden, Warrington South CLP
Geoff Haigh, Preston CLP
Betty Hales, Chingford & Woodford Green CLP
James Hall, South Cambs CLP
Ann Hallam, Hove & Portslade CLP
Kathleen Hamilton, Cambridge CLP
Jo Hammond, Ludlow CLP
Fran Hanlon, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Dave Hansell, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Brian Hanson, Horsham CLP
Terry Harper, Cities of London & Westminster CLP
Alan Harrison, Walsall North CLP
Ruth Heilbronn, North Westminster CLP
Alex Heslop, Bethnal Green & Bow CLP
Ranil Hewavisenti, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
Derrick Hibbett, Chingford & Woodford Green CLP
Dave Hill, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Simon Hinds, Islington North CLP
Paul Hine, Cities of London & Westminster CLP
Gary Holder, Banbury CLP
Dawn Holder, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Dominic Holland, Sheffield Central CLP
Doug Holton, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
Richard Hopper, Cambridge CLP
Melanie Horridge, Southport CLP
Margaret Houston, Cities of London & Westminster CLP
Eamonn Hughes, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Amy Humphreys, Lewisham Deptford CLP
Dave Hunt, Ynys Môn CLP
John Hurlston, Northfield CLP
Riva Joffe, Holborn and St Pancras CLP
Reba Johnson, Tottenham CLP
Graham Jones, Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough CLP
Carolyn Jordin, Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough CLP
Jenny Kassman, Islington North CLP
David Kellaway, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
Gerard Shimokawa Kelly, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Juliet Kent, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Monash Kessler, Battersea CLP
Tareq Khamis, Luton North CLP
Thea Khamis, North Durham CLP
Chris Khamis, Labour International CLP
Hanna Khamis, Leamington & Warwick CLP
Steve Kind, Leeds West CLP
Tom King, Walthamstow CLP
Peter King, Cannock Chase CLP
Sarah King, Labour International CLP
Richard Kuper, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Jane Lambe, Leeds West CLP
Charli Langford, Bethnal Green & Bow CLP
Patrick Langridge, Hove & Portslade CLP
Alan Larman, CLP
Stasha Lauria, Reading East CLP
David Lawrence, Brecon & Radnorshire CLP
Haroun Lazim, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Ann Lazim, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Zubaida Lazim, Westminster North CLP
Anne-Marie Le Gall, Ynys Môn CLP
Christine Leadbeater, Bolton South East CLP
Alex Lee, Eastbourne CLP
Joanna Lee, Leyton & Wanstead CLP
Ana Lekaj, Walthamstow CLP
Leah Levane, Hastings & Rye CLP
Dave Lewis, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Catriona Lischka, Vauxhall CLP
Elizabeth Lock, Oxford East CLP
Ann Logan, Stockton North CLP
Rhodri Lowis, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Peta Lunberg, Kingston and Surbiton CLP
Vera Lustig, Esher & Walton CLP
Anne Lyons, Oxford East CLP
Dorothy Macedo, Worthing West CLP
Bill MacKeith, Oxford West & Abingdon CLP
Duncan Macpherson, Twickenham CLP
Alan Maddison, Houghton & Sunderland South CLP
John Maher, Birkenhead CLP
Alpesh Maisuria, Stroud CLP
Jenny Manson, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
Stephen Marks, Oxford East CLP
Helen Marks, Liverpool Riverside CLP
Robin Marsden, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Rob Marsden, Tamworth CLP
Samantha Mason, Walthamstow CLP
Juliet McCaffery, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Pat McGuirk, Bootle CLP
Chris Meacock, Norwich South CLP
John Metson, Durham City CLP
Angie Mindel, Nottingham East CLP
Siobhan Cawson Mooney, Vauxhall CLP
Geoff Moore, Henley CLP
Miranda Moore, Walthamstow CLP
Philip Mountain, North Tyneside CLP
Robert Moutrey, Walthamstow CLP
Nicola Moxham, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
John Moxham, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Raleigh Muir, Colchester CLP
Anisa Mustafa, Sheffield CLP CLP
Bala Nair, Durham North CLP
Nushi Nazemi, Brent North CLP
Suzy Nelson, Lewes CLP
Diana Neslen, Ilford South CLP
Clive Niall, Camberwell and Peckham CLP
Ian Nicol, Horsham CLP
Fiona Norman, Welwyn Hatfield CLP
David Norris, Beaconsfield CLP
Seamus O’Connell, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Margaret Oliver, Rayleigh & Wickford CLP
Dennis O’Malley, Cambridge CLP
Ozlem Onaran, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Gary Ostrolenk, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
William Owen, City of York CLP
Pam Page, Brighton Pavilion CLP
John Palmer, Greenwich & Woolwich CLP
Ian Parker, Manchester Withington CLP
Susan Pashkoff, Leyton and Wanstead CLP
Tony Peacham, Walthamstow CLP
Diane Pearson, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Liz Peretz, Oxford CLP
Clive Perrett, Chelmsford CLP
David Plank, Cambridge CLP
Stefan Povolotsky, Wantage CLP
Alan Power, Kingston CLP
Brian Precious, East Ham CLP
Claire Preston, Cambridge CLP
Kim Pugh, Cardiff CLP
Caroline Raine, Oxford East CLP
Anandi Ramamurthy, Gorton CLP
Gerry Ramsden, Richmond CLP
Roland Rance, Walthamstow CLP
Colin Read, Walthamstow CLP
Nicola Redwood, Walthamstow CLP
Peter Reed, Henley CLP
Francis Richens, North Cornwall CLP
James Ritchie, Feltham & Heston CLP
Marion Roberts, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Lee Rock, Sheffield Hallam CLP
Charlotte Peters Rock, Tatton CLP
Polly Rodwell, Ipswich CLP
David Roger, Brighton Kemptown CLP
Barbara Rosenbaum, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Carolyn Roth, Brent Central CLP
Jennifer Runham, Cambridge CLP
Paul Russell, Shipley CLP
Geoff Ryan, Carmarthen East and Dynefwr CLP
Alfredo Saad-Filho, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
Paul Scott, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Sheila Scoular, Ilford North CLP
Glyn Secker, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
Shareefa Shah, Watford CLP
Sue Shaw, Henley CLP
Nigel Shaw, Norwich North CLP
Kumiko Shimizu, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
Joe Simpson, Sheffield Hallam CLP
Neil Singh, Staffordshire Moorlands CLP
Margaret Sketchley, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Peter Smith, South Basildon & East Thurrock CLP
Dawn Smith, Labour International CLP
Nahid Soltanzadeh, North Ealing CLP
Dave Statham, Forest of Dean CLP
Brendan Stebbings, Bradford South CLP
Alan Stowell, Reading East CLP
Paul Stygal, Rochford & Southend East CLP
Inbar Tamari, Walthamstow CLP
Richard Tamplin, Oxford West & Abingdon CLP
Ebrahim Tavasoli, Ilford North CLP
Wendy Taylor, Ilford South CLP
Ann Thomas, Bristol West CLP
Wisty Thomas, Wimbledon CLP
Alan Thornett, Camberwell and Peckham CLP
Sue Thornley, Cannock Chase CLP
Jonathan Tibbo, Ilford South CLP
Stephen Tiller, Hackney South & Shoreditch CLP
Norman Traub, Southend West CLP
Janet Tully, Morecambe & Lunesdale CLP
Eveline van der Steen, Dwyfor Meironnydd CLP
Jackie Walker, Henley CLP
Bob Walker, Bexhill & Battle CLP
Philip Ward, Sheffield Central CLP
Judith Wardle, Witney CLP
Colin Watson, Peterborough CLP
Tim Watson, Wirral West CLP
Sam Karl Weinstein, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Roger Welch, Portsmouth CLP
Elizabeth Welch, Stafford CLP
Jennifer Whilby, Walthamstow CLP
Chris Wilkinson, Bristol West CLP
Neil Wilkinson, Derby North CLP
Clare Williams, Swansea West CLP
Geoff Williams, Chelmsford CLP
Evan Williams, Eddisbury CLP
Ian Williams, Labour International CLP
Eileen Williamson, North Durham CLP
Joe Williamson, North Durham CLP
Carole Williamson, North Durham CLP
Keith Willmott, East Devon CLP
Thomas Wilson, Hexham CLP
John Wilton, Sutton & Cheam CLP
Tess Wood, Weaver Vale CLP
Leslie Wray, Sheffield Heeley CLP

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20 thoughts on “Open Letter to Keir Starmer on the Dismissal of Rebecca Long-Bailey”

  1. Thank you for sending this letter,everything in this letter is true,starmer,bod work in tandem to instigate fear in the labour party,they will crash anyone who support the palestinian struggle,socialism.To let the bod to have a final say through they pledges on who is anti semite and who is not is a dangerous move that will corrupt our party immensely,this will alienate the muslim voters in this country from voting labour.

  2. I support this letter. Please add my name to the signatories

    I am a member of Worthing West CLP

  3. I support this letter. I have just been expelled from the LP and accused of anti semitism because I have posted about the atrocities being committed against the Palestinians, that makes me human, not anti semitic.

  4. I support this letter, please add my name to the signatories

    I am a member of Leeds West CLP and Membership Secretary for Kirkstall Branch LP

  5. I’m not a member of the party. I’m 51 years old and have never voted for anyone else except Labour. But I will not vote for this version of the party.
    If we cannot critique then we cannot debate.

  6. I fully support this letter, ask for a prompt and considered response, and query whether the current kow-towing to a stated religious, right wing organisation, which is not an affiliate, goes against the whole ethos and Rule Book of this Political Party.

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