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Keir Starmer slaps down Jeremy Corbyn over 'wrong' attacks on Nato over Ukraine crisis

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Labour leader Keir Starmer launched another attack on Jeremy Corbyn today over his hard Left predecessor’s opposition to Nato, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Sir Keir said that Mr Corbyn was ‘wrong’ to oppose expansion of the defensive organisation to take in former Soviet states in Eastern Europe.

Mr Corbyn, who has sat as an independent since October 2020 after having the Labour whip removed, joined 11 party MPs last week to attack Nato and UK ‘aggression’ ahead of Vladimir Putin’s brutal assault.

The Labour MPs, all supporters of the former leader, were forced to disown the Stop the War Coalition campaign last night after Mr Starmer threatened to also boot them out of the parliamentary party. 

Asked on Sky News about the former Labour leader’s stance on stopping the expansion of Nato, Sir Keir said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn was wrong about that but the Labour Party’s policy never shifted under his leadership and I’ve been very clear.’

His comments suggest that a return to Labour for Mr Corbyn is now almost impossible and he is most likely to run at the next election as an independent against his former party. 

Sir Keir said that Mr Corbyn was'wrong' to oppose expansion of the defensive organisation to take in former Soviet states in Eastern Europe.

Sir Keir said that Mr Corbyn was ‘wrong’ to oppose expansion of the defensive organisation to take in former Soviet states in Eastern Europe.

Mr Corbyn, who has sat as an independent since October 2020 after having the Labour whip removed, joined 11 party MPs last week to attack Nato and UK'aggression' ahead of Vladimir Putin's brutal assault.

Mr Corbyn, who has sat as an independent since October 2020 after having the Labour whip removed, joined 11 party MPs last week to attack Nato and UK ‘aggression’ ahead of Vladimir Putin’s brutal assault.

In the area of Glukhova, the Ukrainian military engaged a armoured column of 15 T-72 tanks with American Javelin missiles.

In the area of Glukhova, the Ukrainian military engaged a armoured column of 15 T-72 tanks with American Javelin missiles.

Russian troops will arrive in Kyiv today and are now fighting in the outskirts of the city, an official has said, as US intelligence warned of a plan to seize an airport, fly in troops, and'decapitate' the government

Russian troops will arrive in Kyiv today and are now fighting in the outskirts of the city, an official has said, as US intelligence warned of a plan to seize an airport, fly in troops, and ‘decapitate’ the government

Labour grounds youth wing’s Twitter account over attack on Starmer

Labour today stripped its youth wing of control of its Twitter account after it attacked party leader Keir Starmer for supporting Nato.

Young Labour last week criticised Sir Keir for his vocal support as more than 130,000 Russian troops massed on the border with Ukraine ahead of the invasion.

The youth wing, chaired by left-wing activist Jess Barnard, said: ‘While we accept difference in policy positions to the current leadership of our party, we are especially concerned in this instance to see Keir Starmer pushing not only for further engagement with NATO, but celebrating it while attacking Stop The War and other pro-peace activists.’

But today a message on its Twitter account said: ‘We regret to inform you that access to the Young Labour Twitter account has been restricted until further notice.

‘As an official channel for the Youth Wing of the Labour Party, we expect certain standards of behaviour from those with responsibility for this page’s output.

‘In particular, it has become apparent that the account has recently become actively detrimental to the Party’s core objectives: to promote Labour candidates and policies, and to win elections.’

He has been told to apologise for comments he made about anti-Semitism under his leadership before the whip is returned, something he is refusing to do.

last night almost a dozen leftwing Labour MPs withdrew their backing for the campaign criticising the UK and Nato over the invasion of Ukraine after being threatened with expulsion.

Eleven Corbynite backbenchers – plus the ostracized former leader – signed a letter from the Stop The War Coalition accusing the UK of ‘inflaming tensions’ by arming Ukrainian troops and blaming Nato for provoking the autocratic Russian leader.

The letter saw them branded a ”a disgrace to the nation’ today – as they belatedly and shamelessly turned on the Russian leader for pouring thousands of troops into Ukraine. 

Last night the party leadership, which has backed Nato action and called for stronger action against Putin, told the group to withdraw their support or they would lose the Labour whip.

They all capitulated quickly, with a source saying: ‘An hour after being told to, all these grandstanders have withdrawn their signatures. Let there be no doubt whose party this is now.’ 

The letter was signed by Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Beth Winter, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Apsana Begum, Mick Whitley, Tahir Ali, and Ian Mearns.

Mr Corbyn also signed the letter, as did MP Claudia Webbe, both of whom now sit as independents. 

It demanded Nato ‘call a halt to its eastward expansion’ and urged ‘the entire anti-war movement to unite on the basis of challenging the British government’s aggressive posturing and direct its campaigning to that end above all’. 

Many of the signatories were quick out of the blocks to attack the bloodshed  after thousands of Russian troops, tanks and aircraft mounted a full-scale invasion of its smaller neighbour yesterday.

Sir Keir added this morning that the ‘collective failure of the West’ in the past response to Vladimir Putin may have emboldened the Russian president but described the party’s support for Nato as ‘unshakeable’.

Former shadow minister Richard Burgon, secretary of the hard Left Socialist Campaign Group, tweeted: Russia's invasion of Ukraine is utterly horrific. Russia must end this attack and withdraw its troops'

Former shadow minister Richard Burgon, secretary of the hard Left Socialist Campaign Group, tweeted: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is utterly horrific. Russia must end this attack and withdraw its troops’

Coventry South MP Zara Sultana said:'Russia's invasion of Ukraine is deplorable. Putin must immediately withdraw Russian forces and cease his bombardment.'

Coventry South MP Zara Sultana said: ‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is deplorable. Putin must immediately withdraw Russian forces and cease his bombardment.’

Their U-turn came after they were criticised by current Labour leader Keir Starmer. Demanding tough action against Russia he said:'Those who have for too long turned a blind eye to Russia's actions must reckon with their own consciences.'

Their U-turn came after they were criticised by current Labour leader Keir Starmer. Demanding tough action against Russia he said: ‘Those who have for too long turned a blind eye to Russia’s actions must reckon with their own consciences.’

But many of them were quick out of the blocks this morning after thousands of Russian troops, tanks and aircraft mounted a full-scale invasion of its smaller neighbour.

But many of them were quick out of the blocks this morning after thousands of Russian troops, tanks and aircraft mounted a full-scale invasion of its smaller neighbour.

He said: ‘I do think that the failure, the collective failure, of you know, the West… in relation to action he’s taken in the past, so many examples – Georgia, Crimea, Donbas – have given him the sense that as I say the benefits of aggression outweigh the costs.

‘We have to be clear that that isn’t the case here in relation to Ukraine and that that response package from the rest of the world will be so strong that it will not only isolate Russia but also cripple its ability to function.’

The Labour leader said if Boris Johnson brought forward tougher sanctions on Russia, they would be voted through Parliament ‘very, very quickly’ with the Labour Party’s support.

He also strengthened his appeal for Russia to be banned from international financial system Swift, describing the move as a ‘now decision’ which should be made as soon as possible.

‘That is a now decision and the Labour Party would support it in full. We think it should happen now,’ he told BBC Breakfast.

Sir Keir called for shell companies in the UK supporting Vladimir Putin’s regime to be targeted, saying there was ‘frustration’ in Parliament that the Government hasn’t ‘got on with this’.

‘What I’ve said to the Prime Minister is whatever criticism I’ve got for you, not having done it now, do it now. If you bring forward legislation, I said to the Prime Minister on Monday, we the Labour Party will vote for it.

‘We could bring this through Parliament very, very quickly because those shell companies are hiding assets that are supporting Putin and we have to get our house in order and there’s such a will in Parliament at the moment.’

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