Sir Keir Starmer faces hard-left leadership coup if Labour lose Batley & Spen by-election


EMBATTLED Sir Keir Starmer could face a leadership coup by the hard-left if he loses tomorrow’s Batley & Spen by-election

Gloomy Labour activists fear the party could end up coming third in the contest – losing the Red Wall seat to the Tories and coming behind George Galloway and his Workers Party.

Sir Keir Starmer could face a leadership coup by the hard-left if he loses tomorrow’s Batley & Spen by-election

Corbynista darling Dawn Butler has been forced to deny she would trigger a contest if they lose after growing rumours that she is eyeing a tilt at the top job.

While the Unite trade union – Labour’s biggest union paymaster – is said to be “casting around” for a left-wing candidate they can get behind

One Labour insider told HOAR said activists knocking doors in Batley have warned the party could come third.

They added: “If that happens that’s obviously a huge pressure moment for Keir.”

Sir Keir has faced mounting questions over his leadership after losing the once rock-solid Labour seat of Hartlepool last month.

He is in the midst of reshuffling his top team as he scrambles to try to reassert his grip – but his MPs privately warn it will take more than a few new faces to win back the heartlands

It comes after Labour were embroiled in a political storm for putting out an anti Tory poster in the increasingly bitter by-election

It showed Boris Johnson shaking hands with Indian Hindu PM Narenda Modi with the warning: “Don’t risk a Tory MP who is not on your side.”

Critics accused the party of stoking anti-Indian sentiment among the Pakistani community in the Yorkshire town with the dog whistle pamphlet.

Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater refused to apologise.

Labour have been blasted for putting out an anti-Tory poster showing Boris Johnson with Indian PM Narendra Modi
Activists fear the party could finish third after George Galloway and his Workers Party

She told the BBC yesterday: “I don’t think it is a mistake. I think that leaflet is about human rights and it’s about having an MP who is going to speak out on the human rights issues in Kashmir.

“And, sadly, we’ve got a Prime Minister who isn’t doing that, he isn’t challenging the Indian government around these issues.

“So you need someone who can, and that’s exactly what I would do.”