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Starmer’s questionable leadership

14th May 2021
Starmer’s questionable leadership

(Photo creative commons)

Thirteen months on from replacing Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition much concern has been raised about the lacklustre performance of Sir Keir Starmer.

The 58-year-old former Director of Public Prosecutions has had a difficult time finding his role amid the pandemic, often supporting rather than challenging dubious government policy. He is accused of trying and failing to be all things to all people, resulting in a cautious and uninspiring approach that has failed to boost Labour’s much- scrutinised rating.

His embarrassing televised ejection from a pub by its disgruntled landlord was followed by a botched withdrawal from an Iftar event. The Labour leader’s mysterious withdrawal from the Ramadan Tent Project’s Iftar event had effectively allowed the Jewish Chronicle to compose all kinds of allegations about his non-attendance, subsequently leading the Muslim community to believe that he was an Islamophobe.

Also noticeable to the Muslim electorate is the contrast between his high-profile and clear stance against anti-Semitism in his party and his inaction on the scourge of Islamophobia embedded in Labour’s rank and file. His position on Kashmir has strayed from the traditional Labour line, while his policy towards justice for the Palestinians is questionable.

Last December, Labour Muslim Network found damning evidence, including that 29 per cent of Muslim party members have directly experienced Islamophobia in the party; 55 per cent not trusting the leadership to deal with the issue with 44 per cent not believing the party takes the issue seriously. Nearly 60 per cent do not feel well represented, while 56 per cent do not believe that the Shadow Cabinet represents the Muslim community. These are burning issues for Starmer to address.

In his pre-polling day interview with The Muslim News, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, insisted that the new Labour leader was making “huge progress” in rebuilding the party. “It’s really important to understand he’s going to sort the foundations,” he said. The pandemic has constrained Starmer’s ability to freely meet the public let alone his MPs, added to an already challenging freshman year. As the lockdown is eased, Khan was convinced that it will be then everyone “will get to know the real Keir Starmer and Keir will make more progress in making sure labour is fit to be the party of government.”

This month’s election results have exposed the Labour leader as a man of no policies. Regardless of whether he is able to survive the latest fallout the party needs much soul-searching. Labour, which was seen as un-electable under his predecessor, is now inexplicably in a worse situation. In the mix, clarity is required on its future relations with Muslims, who traditionally have been loyal to what essentially the party ought to represent, some of the more egalitarian policies of its founders.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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