UK politics news – live: Keir Starmer faces down left-wing Labour rebellion over sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey, as Jenrick referred to sleaze watchdog

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AFP
AFP

Sir Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet after she praised Maxine Peake following an interview with The Independent, in which the actor claimed Israeli secret services taught US police the tactic which led to George Floyd’s death. The claim has been denied by Israel, and Ms Peake later said it was wrong.

The Labour leader, who met with left-wing MPs on Friday morning, said he did not believe Ms Long-Bailey was antisemitic but thought her sharing of the article had not furthered the cause of rebuilding trust with the Jewish community. Ms Long-Bailey said she could “understand the difficulties of [his] position” but said there is “a valid concern about police practices across the world”, as socialist MPs called for her reinstatement, seemingly to no avail, citing “significant disagreement” within the party.

Some voiced anger that Sir Keir had not directly called for Boris Johnson to remove housing secretary Robert Jenrick, whom Labour has referred to the sleaze watchdog over a £1bn property development involving billionaire Tory donor Richard Desmond. A spokesperson rebuffed fresh questions over an alleged meeting with Israeli mining heir Idan Ofer, saying Mr Jenrick “disclosed his ministerial interests on appointment in the usual way”.

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