Statement of the LLA steering committee in response to Keir Starmer’s conference speech and the ‘Overseas Operations Bill’:
“New Leadership” sounds to us very much like “New Labour” and of course that’s why Starmer has chosen the phrase. He has stopped pretending to want to continue some of the policies championed by Jeremy Corbyn and has gone back on the promises made in his election campaign. His instruction to all Labour MPs to abstain on the Government’s ‘Overseas Operations Bill’ is a sign of his politics. The bill effectively decriminalises torture, makes it harder for veterans to take legal action against their own Government, or for war crimes to be investigated.
It is a shame that almost half of the members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs followed the whip. We support Nadia Whittome, Olivia Blake, Beth Winter and the other sixteen Labour MPs who had the guts to defy the whip and vote against this bill. Together with them and the tens of thousands of socialists who remain members of the Labour Party, we will fight hard against attempts to change Labour back to the safe haven for right-wingers that it was under Tony Blair.