Politics can be a very grimy game; With one of the best examples being Micheal Gove’s betrayal of Boris Johnson in 2016 Conservative leadership race.
Keir Starmer’s Labour set a new low bar in the House of Commons yesterday – using a bill which legislates to allow war crimes to purge Labours left from his shadow cabinet.
Overseas Operations Bill
Yesterday, the very controversial ‘Overseas Operations Bill’ was receiving its second reading by ministers. The Bill would protect military personal from prosecution for any crimes committed while on active duty.
Minister for Veterans Johnny Mercer, who introduced the bill, argues that people should not face prosecution for anything that happens while on active service. However, many on the Labour benches have opposed the bill, pointing out that it provides a backdoor to decriminalising torture and potential war crimes.
As the debate wound up, Labour leader Keir Starmer issued a ‘one-line-whip’ telling opposition ministers to for FOR the bill. The ‘whip’ system is used by political parties to command ministers on how to vote. A one-line-whip is the lowest priority and used more as a guide than an order.
It is strange to see anyone sacked from a position for breaking a one-line whip. It now appears Keir Starmer has used this bill to purge more of Labours left from his shadow cabinet. Wednesday evening, Labour issued a statement saying Labour Nadia Whittome, Olivia Blake and Beth Winter had ‘resigned’ (been sacked) from the party.
The news of her resignation stunned Whitmore, who was told this live on yesterdays ITV Peston show.
Nadia Whittome posted the following statement.
This morning, support from Labours left has flooded social media. Former Shadow forign minister Diane Abbot hit out at the party leadership, saying on Twitter: “Nadia, Olivia and Beth were sacked for voting against it. But they voted absolutely in line with Labour values“.
Starmer purging the left?
A Labour source told VB “They have been had.” Ministers believed they were only issued a one-line-whip.” Most of the ministers who abstained only did so in the belief that the bill will be amended or voted down at the next stage.
Looking at those who voted against the bill, it is a who’s who of Labours left-wing; many of them former Shadow Cabinet members. “Starmer was aware that there was a group of Labour ministers who would not abstain.”.
Politics can be a nasty game at times, but this is a new low.