Sir Keir Starmer reacted to Labour’s disastrous result in the Hartlepool by-election by demoting Angela Rayner and promoting Rachel Reeves. The move, according to the FT, was “designed to get the Labour party back on the front foot after disappointing local election results and a weekend of bitter infighting”.
Like many of Starmer’s “forward” moves, this appears like a backwards step.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand…” wrote Abraham Lincoln. “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”
After the moribund post-Blairite years, Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015. Since then Labour, and the wider labour movement, has been ravaged by repeated schisms, along ideological fault-lines, for control of the party.
Now, with the new leadership team of Kier Starmer, a newly elected NEC and the prospect of three influential General Secretaries of Trade Unions stepping down in the coming months, the debate about the future of the Party has been reignited with a renewed sense of urgency.