Labour shadow transport minister Sam Tarry explains why he joined RMT picket ...
Union leaders are annoyed with Keir Starmer, after the Labour leader sacked one of his frontbenchers, Sam Tarry.
Tarry was sacked after he joined the picket line in Euston in support of the RMT union striking over pay and conditions yesterday contrary to the party's position, but the party said it was because of unauthorised media appearances.
Starmer had said on Tuesday the Labour party in opposition needs to be “the Labour party in power, and a government doesn’t go on picket lines”. Thus, Tarry had broken collective responsibility that comes from being a member of the shadow cabinet.
A spokesman for the party told Huffington Post that Tarry was not sacked because he stood on the picket line, but because he appeared on television without permission and did not speak to an “agreed frontbench position”.
But union leaders were not pleased with Unites' Sharon Graham calling it an "insult".
\u201cEvery @UKLabour politician should visit rail workers on the @RMTunion picket lines & listen to why they are asking for job security, better safety & decent pay. Labour politicians are in Parliament to be their voice. @SamTarry has shown leadership today ... a real Labour MP.\u201d
\u201cMick Lynch to @TimesRadio on Sam Tarry sacking: \u2018sad day, a very sad day for the Labour Party - the name gives it away\u2026 sad day when people like Keir Starmer\u2026 are playing up to the agenda of Liz Truss and others\u2019\u201d
\u201cSo Labour have sacked Sam Tarry for joining a rail workers picket line today. History does not reflect well on those who sit on the fence in times of injustice. \n\n@SamTarry join me at the CWU picket line at BT Tower on Friday morning mate. Well done.\u201d
\u201cThe @UKLabour sacking of @SamTarry for supporting working people on strike, against cuts to their jobs and pay, is another insult to the trade union movement. Quite frankly it would be laughable if it were not so serious. 1/3 #SamTarry\u201d
Further to Tarry's stance, Kate Osborne and Paula Barker, as well as Labour whip Navendu Mishra and shadow environment minister Alex Sobel also defied their leader to join RMT strike action in June.
Party bosses decided not to sack them, although they were sent letters warning them about their future conduct.
A party spokesperson told Huffington Post: “The Labour Party will always stand up for working people fighting for better pay, terms and conditions at work.
“This isn’t about appearing on a picket line. Members of the frontbench sign up to collective responsibility. That includes media appearances being approved and speaking to agreed frontbench positions.
“As a government in waiting, any breach of collective responsibility is taken extremely seriously and for these reasons Sam Tarry has been removed from the frontbench.”
In a statement, Tarry said: “It has been a privilege to serve on Labour’s frontbench for the past two years and to have had the opportunity to speak up for hard-pressed workers who deserve so much better than the treatment they’ve received from this corrupt and out-of-touch Government.
“I remain committed to supporting the striking rail workers, and campaigning for a Labour victory at the next general election, which I will fight for relentlessly from the backbenches.”
Ah well, at least it isn't as divided as the Tory party.
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