Starmer faces election nightmare with top unions slamming Corbyn ban

Jeremy Corbyn snaps at reporter over future as Labour MP

A top union figure has threatened they could break away from the Labour Party after Sir Keir Starmer successfully banned Jeremy Corbyn from standing as the party’s candidate at the next general election. Nicola Jukes, a TSSA union representative and member of the Labour Party’s national executive committee, voted against the motion put forward by Sir Keir on Tuesday. 

However she was outvoted 12 to 22, and the motion arguing that allowing Mr Corbyn to stand as a Labour candidate would damage the party’s electoral appeal was carried. 

Following the vote, Mrs Jukes published an official statement from the union saying they were “deeply dismayed” by the vote, accusing it of being a “wholly undemocratic motion”. 

“We strongly believe in the democratic right of Labour members, in the constituency parties (CLPs) to choose their own candidates. 

“Today’s motion regarding Jeremy Corbyn was a cowardly move by the leadership and flies in the face of both Labour values and our democratic principles.”

Most worrying of all for Sir Keir, the union went on to warn that the passing of the motion, combined with other “disappointing actions under Keir Starmer’s leadership”, would prompt discussions about Labour affiliation within the TSSA union. 

The transport union has been one of the left-wing groups causing misery for millions of commuters, with numerous walk-outs in December and January. 

The TSSA heaped praise on Jeremy Corbyn, claiming he “inspired a whole new generation of people to become active in Labour politics”.

They further said he “achieved better results than many other Labour leaders”. 

The Labour Party saw their worst general election seat tally since 1935 under Mr Corbyn’s leadership in 2019. 

There are currently 11 trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party, including ASLEF, CWU, FBU, GMB, NUM, UNISON and Unite. 

The Labour Party’s website describes affiliated unions as “more important than ever as we work together to tackle the urgent problems we face as a country”. 

Unions provide much of the Labour Party’s funding, however, there has been large discontent under Sir Keir’s leadership. 

In September 2021, the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union disaffiliated from the Labour Party due to it having “travelled away from the aims and hopes of working-class organisations like ours”. 

Aslef and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) also both saw motions put forward at their conferences to disaffiliate from the party, though both were rejected. 

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Despite voting to remain affiliated with the Labour Party, the FBU warned that there remains “real discontent” within the union with Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership. 

FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack warned: “Starmer needs to start wholeheartedly backing policies that will radically make lives better, like public ownership and a full repeal of anti-union laws, or risk losing support from many quarters”.

According to the Electoral Commission, the TSSA hasn’t given any money to the Labour Party since 2002, however, did give £5,000 to Labour MP Sam Tarry – the partner of Angela Rayner – in 2022.

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