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James Forsyth

Why Starmer didn’t sack Lisa Nandy for joining a picket line

Why Starmer didn't sack Lisa Nandy for joining a picket line
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Lisa Nandy’s appearance on a picket line is very different from Sam Tarry’s. There were no media interviews and this is a dispute involving a Labour-affiliated union and a private company. This is not a public sector strike; taking a position on it does not have implications for the public finances. But given Keir Starmer’s position on picket lines – Labour MPs shouldn’t appear on them – Nandy’s decision to attend clearly carries with it its own message.

This incident is not going to turn into anything more serious, as neither side appear to be escalating matters. But with more and more industrial action likely over the coming months as workers protest at below inflation pay rises, this issue is going to keep dogging Labour.

The sheer level of blue-on-blue in the Tory leadership race means that it won’t be that difficult for Labour to appear the more united party over the summer. But the strike-issues will continue to cause problems for Labour.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is political editor of The Spectator.

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