The spirit of Corbynism lives long in Labour, it seems, as Starmer’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary tells GB News that the party would remain neutral in a Northern Ireland border poll. Speaking to Darren McCaffrey, Louise Haigh told viewers:
“We may be a Unionist party but it is not my job to advocate for the Union”
Present but not involved one might say…
Unsurprisingly the Tories are furious. A Tory source responds to Guido with the fiery:
“From a woman that wanted John McDonnell with his praise of bombs and bullets to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is perhaps surprising that Louise only went this far.
Labour’s Unionist identity crisis has never been resolved. With the SDLP as their sister party, and their shadow NI Secretary emphatically saying it is not her role to be a ‘persuader for the Union’, how they can claim to be Unionist party with a straight face is beyond belief.”
Starmer said in July that “I believe in the United Kingdom and I will make the case for a United Kingdom” and that in the event of a border poll
“I personally, as leader of the Labour Party, believe in the United Kingdom strongly, and would want to make the case for a United Kingdom strongly and will be doing that.”
Starmer emphasised he would be “very much on the side of Unionists, arguing for Northern Ireland to remain in the UK” even if he were to be Prime Minister at the time. Clearly the same can’t be said for his party or Shadow Cabinet.