Sir Keir Starmer scrambles to defuse Labour civil war over rail strikes

SIR Keir Starmer cosied up to the unions yesterday in a bid to avert an escalating row after sacking his deputy’s boyfriend.

After sacking Angela Rayner’s partner Sam Tarry the Labour boss schmoozed his paymasters following their furious reaction.


Labour leader Sir Keir StarmerCredit: PA
Angela Rayner and Sam Tarry


Angela Rayner and Sam TarryCredit: Ray Collins

Sir Keir said the partnership with the barons would be “the future” of the party, as he desperately tried to avoid Unite axing funding to the party.

And he desperately said he sacked Mr Tarry for appearing on TV “without permission” and “then made up policy on the hoof.”

He added: “That can’t be tolerated in any organisation because we’ve got collective responsibility.

“So that was relatively straightforward.”

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Asked if he is worried the row could damage the relationship with Unite – who give millions to the opposition every year.

He said: “The Unite Union and the Labour Party have a very strong relationship.

“I am a member of the Unite union. That relationship is historic, it is present, and it will be the future of the Labour Party.”

Senior Labour figure Andy Burnham warned Sir Keir that he needed to “be careful” after the swift sacking.

The Manchester mayor told GB News: “Labour needs to be careful here.

“We can’t ever be a party that undermines working people fighting to protect their incomes and a cost of living crisis.

“If we’re not careful, that’s how we might come over.

He added: “People are going to have to fight to protect their incomes and Labour should be supporting people to protect their incomes.”

It came as hard left Labour MPs called for a general strike in a backlash over the handling of Mr Tarry.

Lefty former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said it was a “severe mistake” to give Mr Tarry the boot and called for all workers to stage a co-ordinated walkout – something that has not happened since 1926.

He said: “I support coordinated action because if that results in a decent pay rise for people that protect against the cost of living crisis, I think that’s the most effective thing to do.”

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