PMQs: Sunak hits out at Starmer over immigration

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Sir Keir Starmer faces fury from allies of Jeremy Corbyn as they accuse him of conducting a “purge” of the Labour left. The leader’s supporters insist, however, he is simply working to maintain the “highest standards”.

Reports suggest numerous left-wing candidates have been prevented from standing for Labour at the next general election.

Party sources told the Sunday Telegraph this appears to be a biased move against supporters of former Labour leader, Mr Corbyn.

Sir Keir is widely understood to have worked towards distancing himself from the legacy of the Islington North MP’s leadership.

There is, however, a sense these efforts have not been as successful as might have been hoped, with some voters in Stoke telling earlier this year they did not believe Labour had moved on from Mr Corbyn’s time as Leader of the Opposition.

Within the parliamentary party, members are reportedly concerned about the drive-out of a more left-wing influence inside Labour.

Some MP’s told the Sunday Telegraph they were scared to criticise Sir Keir because they “think they might be next”.

They added that several prospective MPs have been prevented from running for office because of “due dilligence” concerns.

In some cases, the sources claimed, this was simply code to cover an attempt to “erase the left from public life”.

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Emma Dent Coad, who served as Labour MP for Kensington between 2017 and 2019, was last month excluded from the longlist in the process to determine who will stand for the party at the next election.

She wrote in a statement that she was “blocked”, but Labour sources told LabourList she was excluded due to online activity.

Ms Dent Coad said: “I am angry that local members and our local community in Kensington have been denied the opportunity to vote in a free and fair contest, which has been sacrificed for the sake of factional intrigue from Labour officials.

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“If I have been outspoken in my politics, it is due to my passion and care for Kensington – for my neighbours and friends – and because of my burning desire to stamp out injustice and build a fairer, more equal society.”

A Labour source responded: “It’s right that the Labour party expects prospective MPs to uphold the highest standards.

“Under Keir’s leadership that’s not going to change.”

One significant contribution to the debate came from John McDonnell, who served as Shadow Chancellor under Mr Corbyn, who described the treatment of Ms Dent Coad as “outrageous”, insisting it “risks further alienating the Labour Party from the communities we strive to represent”.

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party just over two years ago, after he said claims of anti-Semitism in Labour were “overstated”.

There are currently no signs the current leadership of the party is considering welcoming the former leader back.

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