Formal Complaint Against Sir Starmer Made By Labour Members

  1. Over 60 Labour Party members launch a formal complaint against Sir KeirStarmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long Bailey

Led by Salford TUC

On Friday 17 July, 64 Labour Party members submitted a formal complaint to Labour HQ about the leaders recent illegitimate sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey
Long-Baileys sacking was entirely unjustified and based on wholly spurious grounds 
Salford TUC recently launched a nationally supported campaign to reinstate Long-Bailey
A petition calling for Long-Baileys reinstatement approaches 22,000 signatories
An Open Letter sent to Sir Keir Starmer on the sacking, signed by Ken Loach, Tosh McDonald and Chris Searle amongst others
Labour leadership in danger of being brought into disrepute
This is an ethical issue, not a left/right issue
A call to Sir Keir to agree that in retrospect, the sacking was inappropriate, and to re-appoint Long Bailey to the shadow cabinet at the earliest opportunity



In brief, the complaint outlines why the pretext given by Sir Keir Starmer for sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny, and is wholly unjustified.

The complaint makes the following request:

We request that:

(1) the Labour Party appropriately and thoroughly investigate this formal complaint, and whether Sir Keir’s publicly stated reason for sacking Long-Bailey was accurate, proportionate and fair;
(2) if our complaint is upheld, we request that a public statement be made to that effect, including that our party will always challenge unfair dismissal, in whatever context; that an apology is made to Long-Bailey for the great distress that this sacking has caused to her; and that Long-Bailey is either reinstated immediately, or failing that, a commitment be made by the leadership that she will be reinstated to a substantial shadow cabinet post at the earliest opportunity.


The complaint has been signed by celebrated film-maker Ken Loach and former leader of ASLEF, Tosh McDonald. We conclude the complaint by emphasising that if the party has the non-defensive maturity and magnanimity to admit this error and do the right thing in mending the necessary bridges with Rebecca Long-Bailey, we will be delighted to put this issue to bed and move on, so that we can all collectively focus our energies upon bringing about the election of the Labour government that we all so desperately want.


This press release is the latest step in a Salford TUC-based campaign, ‘Reinstate Rebecca Long Bailey as Shadow Education Secretary’With well over 21,000 petition signatures to date and an Open Letter recently sent to Sir Keir Starmer on this issue, Salford TUC is now spear-heading this campaign seeking justice for Rebecca, supported by notable Labour movement activists and figures from the academic world.


On 4 July, an Open Letter was sent to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer from the campaign, posing him key questions about his pretext for the recent sacking of former Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey. This follows a series of articles and reports on progressive media platforms detailing the reasons why the pretext given for sacking Long Bailey does not stand up to the slightest scrutiny. 


In the Open Letter, we ask Sir Keir the following questions, to which we await his response:

Question 1: What evidence do you have that the assertions made by Ms Peake can legitimately be categorised as ‘conspiracy theory’?

Question 2: Did you know about this evidence when you made your comment categorising Ms Peake’s statement as ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory’?

Question 3: Do you accept that your claim that Ms Peake’s statement was ‘anti-Semitic’ does not stand up to scrutiny? – even using the international definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ adopted by the Labour Party.


We understand the wish for the new Labour leadership to address the question of anti-Semitism; but not to do so in a fair, balanced way will lead to massive division and disaffection amongst the party’s half a million members.

This is emphatically not an issue about left versus right: rather, it is about ethics, and what is just and true.

It will be disastrous for Sir Keir’s reputation on the progressive ethical left of politics if he stands his ground, and refuses to admit what is now absolutely indisputable – viz. that what Maxine Peake said in her Independent newspaper interview was not in any way anti-Semitic, and was certainly in no way a ‘conspiracy theory’; and indeed, that there now exists unequivocalfactual evidence to show that neither is the case.

To be fair to Sir Keir, he may well not have had this information to hand at the time he made his decision to sack Rebecca Long Bailey on what are now known to be entirely spurious grounds. And given what a vexed question anti-Semitism has been for Labour, he may have been unhelpfully advised to act in the way he did.

We want to give Sir Keir the benefit of the doubt, and to invite him to do the ethically right thing, now that all the relevant evidence on this issue is freely available in the public sphere.Rebecca Long Bailey, a diligent and inspiring figure in the Labour Party, has been grievously wronged and deeply hurt by this wholly disproportionate action.

There is still time to repair the damage done by this unjustified sacking. The consequences of not doing so are too grave to contemplate – not least in the way that the leadership of the party will be brought into disrepute.


Alec McFadden of Salford TUC said: “This campaign is all about Justice and Democracy, and the current leader of the Labour Party has crossed the line on both of these key principles in sacking Rebecca Long Bailey, our Member of Parliament.

Salford TUC & Salford Pensioners and Trade Unionists have always followed the words and actions of the late Tony Benn – ‘Democracy needs not only to be done, but seen to be done’. Tony also once said at the Durham Miners Gala, ‘If you want something done, do it yourself!’. That’s why Salford TUC delegates and some of our friends are leading the Campaign to have Becky Long Bailey, our much-loved MP, reinstated. With nine Salford councillors, this is unity-in-action – we urgently need a united Trade Union movement and Labour Party together with the people of Salford in seeking Justice and Reinstatement for Becky Long Bailey”.

Co-organiser, writer and Labour party member Dr Richard House said: “First and foremost, this is emphatically not a left/right issue, but a question of ethics. If Jeremy Corbyn had behaved in a comparably cavalier, unjust way when leader, the signatories to this formal complaint would have been equally as critical.

With our open letter to Sir Keir Starmer of 4 July having been ignored, with considerable reluctance we felt that we had no option but to submit a formal complaint to the Labour Party about our leader’s behaviour. We are emphatically not seeking a ‘climb-down’ in order to make cheap political capital; and we will certainly not be engaging in opportunistic point-scoring if Sir Keir has the wisdom to have a change of heart on this issue.

Strong leadership is not about treating the world as a nail when one’s only tool is a hammer: rather, a strong leader is one who has the capacity to admit that an error has been made, and to instigate a process of healing. The Labour membership is in danger of splitting asunder on this issue, and that would be catastrophic for the party and its future electoral prospects.

If Sir Keir were to admit that in retrospect he acted too hastily, and at the next opportunity he will appoint Rebecca Long Bailey to a substantial shadow cabinet position, we would happily applaud Sir Keir’s magnanimity and immediately drop the issue, so that we can then all move on from this unfortunate episode.” 

Read The Formal Complaint Here :



  1. Barrie Lambert
    Barrie Lambert I think Rebecca is best out of it. It may be sensible for members of the previous shadow cabinet and others to form an advisory group of onlookers, who can report their views on the government’s behaviour, events in parliament and matters pertaining to the Labour Party, to current members and those who have resigned or allowed their membership to lapse as a result of the wantonly reckless behaviour of the leader, the shadow foreign affairs and economic spokespersons, none of whom appear to have a relatively well thought through and relatively consistent political philosophy to sustain them, other than, in Stamer’s case, a penchant for Zionism.

    Labour has always functioned best as a movement and not a political party. Indeed, the Blair and Brown governments did little to sustain the Labour movement and much to do it great harm. If Starmer should happen to form or be a member of a coalition government, I doubt we can expect better. We will still have the most restrictive trades union laws in the world of electoral democracies and we can say goodbye to any prospect of effectively managing the economy through a process of green economic growth and development.

    We need a Labour movement which can speak, not for Oxbridge Labour, Spads and Spad wannabeeeeees (pu..leeeeeze), but for ordinary people, like you, me and our next door neighbours.

    Jeremy Corbyn created one. We need to keep it alive, nurture it and grow it, organising community by community, listening to people’s needs and see if we can meet them from our own and the communities resources. If need be we create food kitchens, assist in food banks and establish new ones closer to their customers, create credit unions, provided literacy and numeracy training for those who need it, and help the unemployed to keep on working by helping others in order to help themselves into a new job.

    We must focus on mutual aid because that is where our future lies if we and our progeny are not to be enslaved in perpetuity by a new aristocracy descended from the oligarchs who control so much of our lives already. The oligarchs own and control the corporations which hold the property rights to the various ways in which we now live our lives – the businesses swamping all new competition either by destroying it in the marketplace through unfair competition, or buying control in order to concentrate and establish limits on innovation and supply: the internet providers and platform businesses like Microsoft, Amazon, google and Apple (yes, MAGA, as Trump’s baseball cap gloriously announces; the corporations with multi-national supply chains which fail, the food processors and the supermarket chains whose just in time policies are shakier than Boris’s morals; the finance, insurance and real estate sector, all tightly bound in a monetary cycle which eventually and repetitively goes pop in a cloud of smoke, leaving desperate people in negative equity, with many made homeless by ruthless mortgage lenders trying to protect their balance sheets who are already adequately protected by governments which give them free money to finance future bonuses so the system doesn’t completely collapse.

    I support the general aim of this petition – not to misuse accusations of antisemitism because it ultimately makes it a matter of disbelieve, then a joke and, eventually, acceptable, just as the Left’s overuse of the term Fascist tended to conceal the real fascists in our midst who cheat and lie and kill, but smile nicely, have good table manners, and are well-spoken. I just think the particular aim is wrong. And I do not think Rebecca should ever be placed in a position where she is offered a front bench role and is forced to refuse it on grounds of conscience. I would rather she remains an Onlooker.


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