January 15, 2020
Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has sharply criticised Jeremy Corbyn for standing with Russia in the wake of the Salisbury poisoning and showing “solidarity” with Vladimir Putin.
Lisa Nandy Accuses Jeremy Corbyn Of Showing Solidarity With Putin
In a speech on foreign policy in central London on Tuesday afternoon, Nandy said the current Labour leadership had been “completely wrong” in its approach to Moscow.
“Russia is a regime that discriminates against LGBT people, that demonises Muslims and other minorities and suppresses basic rights,” she said.
“It used chemical weapons on the streets of the UK and murdered a homeless person.
“It was completely wrong that our response to this was to cast doubt on what happened and call only for dialogue.
“At a crucial moment we hesitated in condemning the authoritarian regime that supports Donald Trump and invades its neighbours.
“We stood with the Russian government, and not with the people it oppresses, who suffer poverty and discrimination. We failed in a test of solidarity.
“The Labour leadership failed on Russia and we must put this right.”
Nandy also told HuffPost UK: “What I do know is that when we chose to show solidarity with Putin, rather the Russian people, we failed to live up to our values and I never want to see us do that again.”
The MP for Wigan, who formally launched her campaign on Monday, has said Labour needs to “red bridge” uniting support across different wings and regions to prevent the party’s demise.Nandy, who was one of Labour’s prominent voices calling for a soft Brexit after the referendum, also criticised Labour’s outgoing leader and others in the shadow cabinet for the failure on the issue.
“We’ve allowed the right to frame the debate into a series of false binaries and in doing so allowed a fully fledged cultural war to be unleashed,” she said.
“The trap was set: you can be for your country or you can be for the world. And senior Labour politicians rushed headlong into it – it was a serious failure of leadership.”
Labour should have defended free movement and the benefits it brings, Nandy argued, while “recognising it has flaws” and not dismissing concerns “as simply racist anti-immigration sentiment”.
“I believe in free movement,” she said. “If it were paired with renewed and radical investment that enabled opportunities for young people, decent jobs, training and skills – then I know that those concerns about freedom of movement would have fallen away.”
In order to progress to the postal ballot of members and supporters, candidates must get the support of 5% of local parties or three affiliates, including two unions, by February 14.
Nandy won the support of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), while Sir Keir Starmer has been backed by Unison.
The trio progressed to the current stage – along with Rebecca Long-Bailey and Emily Thornberry – after winning enough support from Labour MPs and MEPs.Related... Boost For Keir Starmer As Labour's Environment Campaign SERA Backs Leadership Bid
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