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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Diane Abbott stands her ground

by New Worker correspondent

Elections are often brutal events, and the present one is no exception. Mud-slinging and dirty tricks are a daily occurrence with policy differences taking a back seat. All this is in the cause of seeking Labour Party candidacies.

The most-high profile of these was of course Diane Abbott, who was only allowed to stand in her Hackney North seat after being blocked by the leadership on trumped-up charges of anti-Semitism after writing a letter to the Observer ages ago. Labour’s sitting on these allegations to prevent her standing was going to alienate many voters across the country.

Starmer had no option but to reinstate her given her special status as the first Black woman MP as ditching a popular constituency MP at a time when he has successfully alienated the Muslim vote by his endorsement of Israeli atrocities in Gaza. Elsewhere in London Apsana Begum – the woman Muslim MP for Poplar and Limehouse and another Starmer clique target – is likely to be approved by Labour, simply to avoid more hassle.

In Brighton Kemptown the hitherto unknown sitting Labour MP has been banned from standing over an anonymous complaint about an unknown incident alleged to have taken place years ago. Michael Crick, the journalist who keeps a close eye on Labour’s internal politics, estimates that only four or five of the 200 candidates for the most winnable seats are from the left, such is the extent of the Starmer purge. Tellingly one darling of the Labour left, John McDonnell, has been left alone because of his support for the Ukrainian fascists.

The old tradition of departing MPs delaying the announcement of their retirement until the last minute so that party HQs can parachute in their favourite sons in return for a guaranteed peerage has been taken to new heights by Sir Keir Starmer. Labour’s NEC is not just deciding who will be slotted in. Several NEC members have inserted themselves into desirable seats as well. But alienating party activists in this manner is not always a clever move.

For the first time in ages both main parties have serious widespread challengers seeking their traditional support. The Tories have the suddenly reinvigorated Reform, the former Brexit Party, snapping at their heels to contend with.

Labour has to worry about the Workers Party of Britain under George Galloway, which is contesting over 326 seats which will be enough to permit him to fight a court case to allow him into the TV debates. The party hopes to retain its Rochdale seat and, at the same time, unseat Angela Rayner in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

While the party will be lucky to hold Galloway’s latest seat it is a real danger to Labour as it will easily capture the votes of most Muslims and many others disgusted by Labour’s support for Zionism. The other left-wing challengers, however, are unlikely to do more than lose their deposits.

In Starmer’s own constituency of Holborn and St Pancras he is facing an anti-Zionist South African Jewish former ANC MP who will be a more serious threat than the inevitable Official Monster Raving Looney Party candidate.