Keir Starmer must embrace Jeremy Corbyn if Labour to unite – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Michael McGowan, Former Labour MEP for Leeds, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

This was Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in Leeds during the 2019 election.

SIR Keir Starmer should return Jeremy Corbyn to the Parliamentary Labour Party if Labour is to win the next general election (Bill Carmichael, The Yorkshire Post, September 24).

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The Labour Party conference in Brighton is a unique and historic opportunity for Keir Starmer to set the scene for a Labour victory at the next election.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

A declaration of intent to unite the Labour Party – and a determination to devolve power away from Whitehall and Westminster to Yorkshire as advocated by Kim Leadbeater, the victor of the historic Batley and Spen by-election – would be welcome.

I was present at the meeting 
at Leeds Minster during the Labour leadership campaign when Keir Starmer claimed to 
be the unity candidate and 
that, if elected, would respect both Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn.

But his attitude to Jeremy Corbyn has since failed to meet this promise.

Jeremy Corbyn has devoted his life campaigning for human rights, equal opportunities, peace and co-operation, and opposing racism and conflict.

Kim Leadbeater after her recent triumph in the Batley and Spen by-election.

As party leader from 2015 until the aftermath of the 2019 General Election, he ignited a passion and enthusiasm amongst members and the Labour Party became the largest political party in Europe.

He has since been subject to character assassination which must be stopped, and words from Starmer at the Brighton that Corbyn should return to the Parliamentary Labour Party would be welcome and an enormous contribution to a Labour victory at the next general election.

The success of the Batley and Spen by-election was the result of the consistent case for devolution advocated by the successful Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater. Her local credentials were second to none and she is now determined to shift power away from London in one of the most centralised countries in Europe.

I went to the same school in Heckmondwike as Kim Leadbeater, her late sister Jo Cox, a former MP for the constituency, and Tracy Brabin (Labour Mayor of West Yorkshire) and have worked as 
a respected colleague with Jeremy Corbyn since the mid 1980s.

There is talent, resources and experience in the Labour Party and I am convinced that electoral success at the General Election is a reality if Keir Starmer uses this unique and historic opportunity to contribute to that victory.

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