Starmer Blames Office Staff for Rule Breaches Despite Promising to “Carry the Can”

Remembering back to the Labour leadership hustings two years ago, Starmer of old proudly boasted of his willingness to shoulder the blame for the mistakes of his staff, and promised to always “carry the can” if he won. To be fair, that was the Sir Keir of 2020, who also wrote those ten leadership pledges which are now at the bottom of a dustbin somewhere in Labour HQ …

Now, having been found to have committed a whopping eight breaches of the MP Code of Conduct, things appear to have shifted. In his letters to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone, published last night, Sir Keir takes “full responsibility” for the breaches… only to then repeatedly remind Stone who’s really to blame:

“As I said in my letter on 13th June, these late declarations were as a result of an administrative error within my office […] I apologise for the delay in registering this declaration for these tickets but the person who gave the gift in kind was overseas and my office was trying to obtain the accurate details of the amount in order to declare it. This was an administrative oversight by my office…”

I take full responsibility, but…

mdi-timer 5 August 2022 @ 11:07 5 Aug 2022 @ 11:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer Guilty of Breaking MPs Code of Conduct Eight Times

Despite claiming he was “absolutely confident” he was in the clear, Keir Starmer has been found guilty of breaking the MPs’ code of conduct eight times by repeatedly failing to declare his interests on time, including gifted tickets to football games and from the sale of a plot of land. Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone was originally only investigating him for five offences, not eight…

A Labour spokesperson said:

“Keir Starmer takes his responsibilities to the Register very seriously and has apologised to the Commissioner for this inadvertent error. He has assured the Commissioner his office processes have been reviewed to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Luckily for Starmer, Stone ruled the breaches were “minor”, so it’s just a slap on the wrist and an apology this time. Surely what’s good for the goose is good for the gander when it comes to slip-ups of standards breaches…

mdi-timer 4 August 2022 @ 20:35 4 Aug 2022 @ 20:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer Promises to Come Up with a Strikes Protocol for MPs… When He’s Back from Holiday

Keir Starmer has promised to come up with a brand new rule on shadow ministers striking to finally clarify Labour’s stance once and for all – the moment he’s back from his holiday.. The new decision can’t come a moment too soon, given his last one – issued just before Sam Tarry was sacked – now lies in tatters after Navendu Mishra and Imran Hussain both broke it on Monday without consequence. Soon Labour will have announced more positions on whether shadow ministers can strike than actual policies for the electorate…

This timetable for Starmer’s latest emphatic rule, according to the Guardian’s Heather Stewart, is that Sir Keir will decide whether or not to punish Lisa Nandy for her meeting with strikers upon returning from his holiday. This was swiftly amended to clarify there’s no chance of disciplinary action against Nandy, instead Starmer “will decide whether to lift the picket line ban when he returns from his holiday on 15 August”. There’s a reason that even without a Tory Leader in situ Labour’s only 1% ahead of the Tories

mdi-timer 3 August 2022 @ 08:58 3 Aug 2022 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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?

mdi-timer 1 August 2022 @ 12:31 1 Aug 2022 @ 12:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Owen Jones is Right, Keir Starmer Lied

Guido stands in solidarity with Owen Jones. He’s right to say Starmer misled the Labour membership. He’s right to say Starmer ran a dishonest campaign. If the Tories can’t get away with using the pandemic as an excuse to break policy pledges, neither can Sir Keir…

So Guido raises his fist in solidarity with Owen. While he claims “most of the media” aren’t covering Starmer’s volte face, he can be assured Guido has and will again. The only people happy to sit back and watch Starmer run roughshod over his own promises are the Waitrose-shopping hardline centrists, because they happen to agree with him on everything. Case in point: David Aaronovitch.

Aaronovitch is claiming “every intelligent observer” knew Starmer was going to do this from day one, so it’s… fine:

Aaronovitch’s clairvoyance should be used for good. Maybe he can help Guido with this week’s lottery numbers. The fact that Starmer’s ten pledges promised Corbynite policies is irrelevant: he said one thing, and then almost instantly did another. How can voters trust he won’t revert to his Corbynite agenda after again conning voters in a general election?

mdi-timer 28 July 2022 @ 13:08 28 Jul 2022 @ 13:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour at War with Unions Over Tarry Sacking

Labour’s union paymasters are once again trading blows with Labour’s Southside HQ, this time over the sacking of Transport Minister Sam Tarry and the party’s opposition to the rail strikes. Just this morning, Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association – a union which even nominated Starmer to the leadership two years ago – wrote a scathing attack in House Magazine, claiming:

“As a Labour-affiliated union, our union is ashamed of the actions of the Labour Party leadership and the anti-worker anti-union message it is sending out… Sam’s crime was attending our TSSA picket line at Euston station and doing media interviews in support of striking rail workers – putting the blame rightly on the Tory government. Sam is one of us.”

Unite’s Sharon Graham has also gone on the offensive (again), saying Labour are “becoming more and more irrelevant to ordinary working people”, with GMB’s Gary Smith chiming in to claim it was a “huge own goal” to sack Tarry and “turn a Tory Transport crisis into a Labour story”. Unite have already threatened to bankrupt Labour this year. Starmer’s lucky the party managed to raise more cash than the Tories last quarter. Open warfare with the unions isn’t going to be cheap…

mdi-timer 28 July 2022 @ 11:30 28 Jul 2022 @ 11:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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