Keir Starmer asked me if he should resign over issues under Corbyn - Wes Streeting

22 July 2022, 11:42 | Updated: 22 July 2022, 11:44

By Tim Dodd

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has revealed Keir Starmer asked him if he should resign from Jeremy Corbyn's Cabinet over issues the party faced such as antisemitism.

The Labour MP made the comments as a guest presenter on James O'Brien's show.

"I'm not sure I've shared this publicly before," Mr Streeting said.

"Putting to one side the fact that 180 MPs did declare no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn early in his leadership and I think Keir would've been one of them.

"I remember having a conversation with Keir once and he was the Shadow Brexit Secretary and [had] a very important job with all of the negotiations that were going on on the biggest issue of the day.

"I remember talking to Keir about anti semitism and some of the other challenges we had, because I always saw him as one of the reasonable, fair-minded, decent people in the Shadow Cabinet that I could go to and talk to.

"We had quite a robust conversation about these challenges and Keir said, 'Look, do you think I should resign from the Shadow Cabinet, is that what you're saying to me?'

"And I said, 'Oh no, for goodness sake, don't do that! We absolutely need you in there, we need you to try and make a difference', whether on Brexit or some of the other challenges the Labour party had."

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In 2020, Jeremy Corbyn was readmitted to the Labour Party following a meeting of the National Executive Committee.

The former Labour leader was suspended from the party and had the whip withdrawn over his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report which found that the party had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.

In his response, he said the problem was "dramatically overstated", but then appeared to backtrack and say concerns around anti-Semitism in Labour were not "exaggerated".