The Labour Party’s divisions have been laid bare since Sir Keir Starmer took over as leader. The former Director of Public Prosecutions is looking to take Labour in a different direction after his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn suffered a crushing defeat in the 2019 general election. The leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, has warned Sir Keir this week not to “take for granted” continued funding from Labour’s biggest donor.
He also threatened a “major gathering” of the left – likely to feature his close ally Mr Corbyn – as a signal that their side of the party has not gone away.
But some members have left the party since its new leadership came in, with many criticising Sir Keir for his approach to leadership.
Dazed – a British magazine – interviewed former Labour members asking why they had left.
Leila, a 22-year-old, told the magazine that she had left the party over the Labour leaks scandal and his approach to Black Lives Matter.
She said: “I no longer support Labour because under the current leadership, it doesn’t seem like Labour is interested in justice anymore.
“You can see that from Keir’s refusal to advocate for tenants, his support for the Government on coronavirus, and through his lack of engagement with low-paid nurses and essential workers.
“It’s also obvious from Keir’s refusal to engage with the material demands of Black Lives Matter, and his playing to TERFs (trans exclusionary radical feminists).
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Patrick, a 27-year-old, said that while he was against the Conservative Party, he still couldn’t vote for Labour under Sir Keir.
He said: “I understand that it can seem like the easy way out to leave, rather than stay and fight, but currently it seems wrong for me to continue contributing money to the party while under the current leadership, and I don’t want to align myself with it.
“The Tories are a truly evil and staggeringly successful electoral machine, but if there were an election tomorrow, could I still vote in good faith with Starmer? I don’t think I could.”
Despite ill-feeling from the left, Labour’s National Executive Committee revealed in July that more people have joined under Sir Keir than left.
Now membership has risen to 570,000, with numbers in 2020 some of the highest seen since individual national membership was recorded in the Eighties.