Yvette Cooper slaps down Diane Abbott over Starmer attack
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Visiting the NATO headquarters last week, Sir Keir stressed his party’s “unshakable support” for the alliance and criticised “Russian aggression”. Labour’s youth wing hit back, accusing their leader of “stoking up tension”.
The official Twitter page of Young Labour published a post today, on Monday, for its almost 34,000 followers, calling on Sir Keir to “stop backing NATO aggression”.
NATO expansionism is a primary concern of Vladimir Putin’s, with Moscow insisting in talks last month the alliance must not ally with Ukraine.
Britain’s “Stop the War” coalition has also decried “NATO’s interventionist agenda”, but Sir Keir suggested the group was not a “benign voice for peace”.
He wrote: “At best they are naive.
“At worst they actively give succour to authoritarian leaders who directly threaten democracies.”
Young Labour hounded Sir Keir for this attack, noting: “Stoking up tension, macho posturing and trying to ‘out do’ the Tories on hawkish foreign policy will only lead to further devastation, loss of life and displacement of people across the world.
“We offer solidarity with those organising against this, including members of Stop the War.”
It said Labour must change in order not to be on the “wrong side of international issues” once again.
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Young Labour’s message has sparked a row within the party about its approach to events taking place around the Ukraine border, where, according to Western reports, around 100,000 Russian troops have gathered in recent weeks.
Responding to the post on Twitter, Wirral Young Labour Chairman wrote: “It’s difficult to stay quiet when Young Labour claim to speak for people like me.
“It was a Labour Government that took the UK into NATO, and as a party we must stand against Russian aggression and with the people of Ukraine.”
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Labour member Nathaniel accused the youth group of being “Putin apologists”.
Fergal Reid also jibed about the post: “This reads better in the original Russian.”
For Jamie, Young Labour was wrong to side with Stop the War, about which he said: “All they want to do is slag of the West, no Matter what the larger picture is.”
Other Labour members have, however, backed Young Labour’s message.
Union man and Labour activist Andrew Murray, writing in the New Statesman, said the idea Stop the War was not about peace was a “falsification”.
He added the group backs the efforts being made to find “a diplomatic resolution” with Russia.
But for public servant Andrew Levi, Young Labour’s post spelled trouble for the future of the party.
He wrote on Twitter: “If Young Labour is, as it claims, “the” youth wing of the Labour Party, and if youth represents the future, on the evidence of [this post] there is zero future for Labour.”
Kyle Orton added: “The leadership of the Labour Party might have changed, but the Party remains rotten.”
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