The following letter will be sent to Kier Starmer. In signing we will add you to the total number of members calling for action but your details will be kept anonymous.
Dear Keir Starmer,
We, the undersigned, write to regretfully inform you that we no-longer have confidence your leadership of the Labour Party, which, we believe, you have, in a few short months, brought into disrepute. We do not now feel confident that Labour can win an election under your leadership. Moreover, we, as party members, elected you on the basis of your 10 pledges, which led us to believe that you would continue to lead party according to the same principles and policies as your predecessor. It is clear now that you have broken your side of this implied contract with us, as well as your promises to us. We hope that this letter encourages you to consider your position. We have chosen to remain anonymous to protect our identities and party memberships.
[total number of] Labour members
10 Broken Pledges
You promised “no stepping back from our core principles”, but:
You promised that you would “Stand up for universal services”, but:
You promised you would “Put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do”, but:
Promote Peace and Human Rights
You promised you would “make us a force for international peace and justice,” but:
Your decision to prioritise trade with India above the human rights of the people living in Kashmir – which you have described as a “bilateral”, not universal human rights, issue – is at odds with international law (https://labourlist.org/2020/04/keir-starmer-repositions-labour-on-kashmiri-conflict/
You have so far failed to call for the end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine’s West Bank, which is a retreat from Labour’s 2019 manifesto pledge.
You promised you would “support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system,” but:
Your National Policy Forum (NPF) consultation, which aims to “reshape” Labour policy, also suggests that a Starmer government may not repeal the structures of privatisation introduced by the Tories to the NHS in 2012 (https://7e0ca194-74a9-42c0-8229-83ffd300f508.filesusr.com/ugd/12775b_e4aa33bc1a1c4e78869fdf0887e775c3.pdf). This means we cannot have faith in your campaign pledge to renationalise other industries.
Defend Migrants’ Rights
You promised “an immigration system based on compassion and dignity”, but:
When calling for the scrapping of the NHS surcharge for migrant workers in the health and social care sectors, you did not call for the abolition of the charge for people in all types of employment. This has created a two-tiered policy in which some human beings are valued more than others. There are many migrant workers in essential key jobs that still cannot access healthcare. They deserve better than this. (https://labourlist.org/2020/05/labour-pushes-to-exempt-nhs-and-care-workers-from-the-immigration-health-surcharge/).
Strengthen Workers’ Rights and Trade Unions
You promised to “work shoulder to shoulder with trade unions to stand up for working people”, but:
Radical Devolution of Power, Wealth and Opportunity
You promised to “push power, wealth and opportunity away from Whitehall,” but:
Contrary to widespread acceptance of existing centuries-embedded institutional racism in the UK, you described the reaction to the killing of George Floyd as just response to a single “moment”, causing great offense to many BAME members. Your “clarifying” remark – that you meant “defining moment” – is just as bad, giving the impression that do not mean what you say, are careless, insensitive and unthinking in your words, or both.
You have shown no commitment to greater democracy so far. In terms of Labour’s internal democracy, you have cancelled meaningful CLP meetings, preventing members from fully engaging in the democratic processes of selections and being able to hold their leadership to account (https://twitter.com/LabourRachel/status/1278006255097970691?s=20
You said “we are the party of the Equal Pay Act, Sure Start, BAME representation”, but
This leaked report also alleged that staff members, who you have previously defended, ignored complaints of antisemitism on purpose, in order to discredit your predecessor.
You have recently claimed: “to some extent I’ve inherited this problem – I’ve just come in as leader of the Labour Party and the staff that are in place [across the party] have been working here for some time.” Keir, this isn’t true. The percentage of BAME staff employed by Labour has declined under your leadership and your team is overwhelmingly made up of white men (https://labourlist.org/2020/05/what-does-the-new-leaders-office-say-about-keir-starmer/?amp
). If levels BAME representation in within Labour staff were previously too low, your leadership had so far worsened the situation.
Effective Opposition to the Tories
You promised “forensic, effective opposition to the Tories in Parliament,” but:
At the best of times, your “opposition” to the Tories has been weak. Frequently, it can be accurately described as non-existent. You have been open about your “support” for the government during Boris Johnson’s catastrophic handling of the Coronavirus crisis, even pushing early for an “exit strategy” and a premature reopening of schools (https://www.ft.com/content/b80bbe13-d7c7-429d-a5b7-18b7dc32750c