Steerpike Steerpike

Will Starmer move against the Socialist Campaign Group?

The Conservative party conference begins tomorrow in Manchester. Coming at a time of fuel shortages, tax rises and post-Covid drift, many disgruntled activists will be hoping to see some sign of dissent from backbenchers uncomfortable at the government’s direction of travel. Yet however bad those divides are, they’re surely nothing compared to those on show at Labour’s conference in Brighton just a few days ago. Nowhere was that better evidenced than at The World Transformed (TWT) festival, the socialist shindig to rival Labour’s ‘official’ event, held just a stone’s throw away from the main hall.

It was here that members of the Socialist Campaign Group – the 35 most left-wing MPs in the Labour party – spent three days parading their grievances with the Starmer project. The suspended Jeremy Corbyn was naturally hailed every time he spouted his usual platitudes by an audience which seemed to largely consisted of wavering or recently-departed party members, either via resignation or expulsion. But much more interesting was the way in which a handful of other, much younger, MPs did not even bother to hide their disgust with Keir Starmer’s leadership throughout the course of the conference.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle told the closing rally that it had ‘been a goddamn awful conference with a goddamn awful leadership’ and that Starmer ‘is not a politician for the Labour party,’ smirking as the Brighton crowd chanted the anti-Starmer words ‘Keith! Keith! Keith!’ He promised to do more to defend those ‘purged’ from Labour in recent months – such as those individuals who belong to groups which the party leadership insist

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