22 February 2021 | UK NEWS
A former aide to the Labour Party’s previous leader has attacked the current leader’s performance during an online video conference held by Arise.
Steve Howell, a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, attacked Sir Keir Starmer for his leadership, including for the treatment of his former employer.
The event where Mr Howell expressed his opinions was headlined “Why socialists can’t leave Labour to the centrists”, where attendees were told that a “political reckoning” was coming. It was held on Saturday afternoon.
Footage of the conference was obtained by Wolves of Westminster and shared with The Express.
Mr Howell said on the call that “like tens of thousands of members, I’m fuming at the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn by Keir Starmer”. He then called Starmer’s treatment of the former leader “very shabby”.
Jeremy Corbyn had been suspended from the Labour Party following the release of last year’s EHRC report, which condemned the Labour Party for anti-Semitism. Corbyn was later re-admitted to the party by Labour’s NEC, although Sir Keir Starmer has yet to return the parliamentary whip to Mr Corbyn.
Mr Howell also called for unity in the party, saying: “We can’t afford to let emotion get the better of our political judgment. Jeremy wouldn’t want that, the millions of people suffering in the worst economic crisis for three hundred years, in a country with the highest Covid death toll, the millions of people who need a strong and united Labour movement to fight back against the Tories. They need us to stay united and they need us to act with wisdom and maturity.”
However, Mr Howell then proceeded to unleash an attack upon the current leadership: “A friend of mine is fond of saying ‘a revenge is a dish best served cold’. Well, revenge isn’t necessarily the word I would choose in this context, but there will be a political reckoning.
“The only issue is how soon can we make it happen.
“The party’s not the property of Keir Starmer, nor is it the property of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and it’s definitely not the property of a clique of wealthy Blairites.
“It belongs to its members in the branches and the affiliated trade unions. It’s the Labour Party’s mass working-class base that makes it unique. There is literally no other party in the world like it.”
Mr Howell was not correct to say that the UK has the “highest Covid death toll”, in absolute figures. As of the time of his statement, however, it continues to have among the highest Covid death rates, behind Belgium, Slovenia and Czechia.