AS ‘with a heavy heart’ and ‘with great sadness’ trends on Twitter due to the number of resignations from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow team, Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer has made his move too, and stepped down from his shadow home office role working on the party’s immigration policy. He suggests that there have been so many resignations that Corbyn’s opposition has become unworkable, and that it time for a new leader. “I have never spoken out publicly against you and I do not intend to now,” says Starmer in his letter to Corbyn, before the big ‘But…’ comes ringing through.
While his constituency has new members who are loyal to Corbyn, in the last few days there has also been a lot of obvious frustration about the Brexit vote last week with passionate Remain supporters here in Camden trying to analyse what went wrong, and working out what – or who – was to blame.
The loss of Starmer, although predicted, is body blow for Corbyn, as he has played the mediator role between left and right so far. He cannot be dismissed as embittered Blairite. For Starmer’s part, his departure may lead to the calls for him to stand for the leadership himself to be revived. With Corbyn up against such an uninspiring slate of competitors in last summer’s contest, there was clamour among some Labour members for him to stand then, even though he had only been an MP for a matter of months.