Starmer sacking chair after losses ‘didn’t look brilliant’, says former First Minister
It “didn’t look brilliant” when Keir Starmer sacked his party chair after election losses, according to a former First Minister.
Carwyn Jones was responding to Labour’s leader in Westminster firing the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner following disappointing results in English council elections and the loss of the former stronghold of Hartlepool in a byelection.
The move has prompted an outcry among Labour members and according to Jones the “optics are difficult”.
The bitter infighting has led to the resignation of Keir Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary Welsh Labour’s deputy leader, Carolyn Harris.
According to the Times, she has given up the PPS role alongside Labour’s leader amid allegations she spread rumours about Rayner.
Carwyn Jones told The Leaders’ Lounge programme on BBC Radio Wales: “The optics are difficult as we say in politics. I honestly don’t know what happened. It didn’t look brilliant.
‘Blaming the woman’
Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood added: “It looks like it’s blaming the woman again dunnit, and easily disposing of her.”
Carwyn Jones continued: “When you’re a leader, you have to take responsibility, that’s true. That does mean you have to reshuffle your frontbench team.
“But you also have to show people that you are willing to learn from your experience, and that’s what Keir will have to do.
“He’s perfectly entitled to reshuffle his team has he sees fit, but it’s hugely important now that the next stage of the debate, which is what went wrong, is done properly.
“Keir will tell you himself, he’s said it to me, he knows that we still have issues in the party, problems that we have to resolve in terms of the perception of our party in some parts of England in particularly. That work is not yet done, as we saw on Saturday from the results.”