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Andy McDonald: Starmer's leadership 'isn't right way' to unite party

28 September 2021, 19:32

By Seán Hickey

The ex-Shadow Employment Secretary criticises Sir Keir Starmer's method of leadership following his resignation.

Andy McDonald spoke to Iain Dale less than a day after he announced his resignation from the Shadow Cabinet, leaving the Labour Party conference in disarray.

Read more: Andy McDonald quits shadow cabinet with scathing attack on Keir Starmer

Iain put to the former Shadow Employment Secretary that he had "very critical things to say" about Sir Keir Starmer in his resignation letter. He wondered how Mr McDonald thought Mr Starmer could "unite the party".

Read more: Irate Labour MP rips into Andy McDonald's 'self-indulgent' resignation

"I’ve tried to promote the argument that the party can be united" Mr McDonald said.

He said that uniting Labour "isn’t a question of ramming things through" which he suggested Sir Keir was doing.

"We're trying to build a consensus and this isn’t the right way to do it."

Iain put to the Labour MP that the aim of his resignation "was to destabilise Keir Starmer" but Mr McDonald refuted the claim.

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He pointed out that he was "very unhappy" with how the party has "gone about engaging" with the membership referencing revoked memberships as just one of the reasons he wasn't happy with the leadership.

"I wish to speak out when I find things are not being conducted properly" he explained, telling LBC that the best thing for him to do on Monday was to resign.

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Mr McDonald dismissed claims that there was any sinister undertone behind his resignation: "I hear the noises that this is part of some left wing coup – well if that’s the case, no one’s told me about it."

Speaking about Sir Kier Starmer's plan to amend voting rules for Labour leaders, Mr McDonald didn't hold back.

"I still to this day don’t understand the motivation other than to make it more difficult for someone with different views to come through and receive enough nominations from the parliamentary Labour party."