Starmer’s last stand! Galloway vows to topple Labour leader – ‘We can knock him out!’

Keir Starmer urged to 'bring Corbyn back' by McDonnell

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Last week, Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party suffered a crushing blow when they were defeated in the Hartlepool by-election, a seat it had held since 1974 when it was first introduced. The area is regarded as a key pillar in the Labour Party’s once untouchable Red Wall, which is now crumbling down at an alarming rate. Tracy Brabin has been Labour’s MP in Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire – like Hartlepool another marginal Red Wall seat – since 2016.

But after winning last week’s West Yorkshire mayor contest, and with her new role including police and crime commissioner powers, she is not able to hold both roles at the same time, meaning a by-election will be triggered.

During the general election of 2017, Ms Brabin held the seat with an 8,961 majority but two years later in 2019, this more than halved to 3,525 – 70 less than what Labour had held before last week’s Hartlepool by-election.

George Galloway, who was a Labour MP for 16 years until 2003, has announced the Workers Party of Britain, which he founded in December 2019, will contest the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election.

The veteran politician has branded Sir Keir a “disaster” and warned he faces a massive uphill battle to retain the seat, particularly as the constituency is a pre-Brexit area and Labour campaigned for a second referendum and reverse the UK’s departure from the European Union.

He accused the Labour leader of trying to “cheat” everyone in the north of England who voted for Brexit, a move that will “never be forgiven”.

Mr Galloway told Express.co.uk: “Batley and Spen is a pro-Brexit area, which has been let down by Labour Party and like much of the North of England, has fallen madly out of love with that party.

“Starmer is the architect of Labour’s Brexit disaster.

“If Labour had embraced the Brexit decision and acknowledge the people had spoken, they would be in a far better position than they find themselves in now.

“Instead under Starmer’s forensic guidance, they did everything possible to destroy Brexit, to overturn the result and cheat 17.4m people out of what they had voted for. That will never be forgiven.

“Everyone in the north who voted for Brexit knows Keir Starmer’s Labour tried to cheat them out of what they voted for.

“We’re trying to knock Starmer out.”

Mr Galloway warned a repeat of the disastrous Hartlepool by-election result will spell the end of Sir Keir’s short reign as Labour leader, with furious members launching a furious backlash with a leadership challenge.

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The veteran MP said: “He is badly damaged and could be the knockout blow entirely when it was completely unnecessary.

“This by-election is self-inflicted and electors don’t like being forced into a by-election because the sitting MP prefers a job elsewhere.

He added: A defeat in the Batley and Spen by-election will plunge Labour into chaos.

This will be the end for Starmer and if Labour lose, there will be a leadership challenge, most likely from Angela Rayner, and he will be out.”

Labour is also faced with a huge headache over when to hold the by-election as pressure continues to mount on leader Sir Keir Starmer.

This could be held in a matter of weeks, potentially taking advantage of marginal better performances for Labour candidates in West Yorkshire in these local elections.

But if they choose to delay it by taking time to choose the right candidate, Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party will likely experience a huge “vaccine bounce”, with all Covid lockdown restrictions having being lifted by then.

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