Starmer Drops Picket Line Ban, Sam Tarry Delighted

While it might feel like a distant memory, it’s been just six days since Starmer declared his front bench shouldn’t show up to picket lines. Last Tuesday he was unambiguous:

“The Labour party in opposition needs to be the Labour party in power and a government doesn’t go on picket lines.”

Of course, Sam Tarry heard this instruction loud and clear, and then showed up at a picket line anyway. He was sacked as Shadow Transport Secretary Minister by the end of the day, though Labour said this was for “making up policy on the hoof”Nothing at all to do with appearing at a picket line, absolutely nothing…

Now Lisa Nandy, the Shadow Levelling Up Secretary and one of Labour’s most prominent front benchers, happens to have stumbled across a picket line this morning as well. Labour claims she was given clearance as she’s not actively picketing, just meeting with those striking – a line that doesn’t hold for her fellow shadow front benchers. Comrade Tarry is delighted

Opposition Whip Navendu Mishra is also out actively “supporting” BT strikers:

Shadow Employment Minister Imran Hussain is currently out standing behind a banner in solidarity with Bradford’s @CWUnews members”:

For a “government-in-waiting” that “doesn’t go on picket lines“, they seem to be spending quite a lot of time on picket lines. While Starmer gave nuanced permission for Nandy to ‘meet’ with picketers, the latter two shadow front benchers seem to directly be undermining his strategy. What was it about Unite once again threatening to bankrupt his party that saw him climb down from such a strict position?

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