Liverpool Cressington Ward Labour Councillor, Sam Gorst, calls for Starmer to apologise for writing for The S*n.
On 18th January 2020, I attended the Labour Leadership hustings in my home city of Liverpool. I was eagerly writing down the pros and cons of all the candidates and scoring them. Unsurprisingly, I went in believing that Rebecca Long-Bailey would be the most palatable due to my leftwing beliefs and her political positioning was very much in line with Labour’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos of which I spent many months in every weather condition campaigning for. However, Keir did win me around on a number of occasions, specifically on his bid for unity as part of his 10 pledges.
At one point at the hustings event, Keir seemed to struggle to keep his huge audience engaged. However he saved himself by revealing he wouldn’t engage with The S*n during the leadership contest. On this basis, the audience gave him generous applause. In that moment he built a trust with the members of the Party in the venue which was then projected back to the people of Liverpool within our communities.
If only the membership knew then what they know now. Ultimately, not only did Keir renege on all 10 pledges once elected Leader, but he has constantly undermined and unfairly targeted the left via his General Secretary. Suspending and then removing the whip from Jeremy Corbyn was an all-time low for many in our socialist haven we call Liverpool. All it did was display Keir’s aim for disunity and detestation of the left for all to see. What happened next out-performed that all-time low: Keir only went and wrote for The Sun. This was unforgiveable!
I remember my first lecture at university as a broadcast journalism student, I believe it was on ethics and journalism. The lecturer called out to the audience “Who is from Liverpool?” to which I nervously exclaimed “I am”, being the only Scouser in the room. He asked me what ‘Justice for the 96’ meant. I explained to those in the lecture theatre about the deadly FA Cup semi-final on 15th April 1989, the cover up by the Police and the establishment, the lies that The Sun had printed on 19th April (ironically titled ‘The Truth’) and as a result how it has shaped my City. A city which has completely banned the paper – later expanding it to the whole of Merseyside. I explained this with absolutely no nervousness in my voice anymore but a strong sense of honour and compassion. The hall appeared disgusted and from that point I gained many friends out of a deep sense of solidarity surrounding such an important injustice.
Keir’s collaboration with The Sun (many here just call it the “lying rag” or “the scum”) has not only hurt and insulted those in Liverpool who lost loved ones and survivors but life-long empathetic Labour members and dedicated elected councillors across the country have resigned as a result of his betrayal. Their resignations in my view show true solidarity. I would like to ask Keir to reflect and now apologise.
Apologies to those Labour members who feel lied to in exchange for their votes and for underestimating and showing such a disregard for the 97 who lost their lives as a result of the Hillsborough disaster, survivors and their families (The lives lost at Hillsborough were 96 rising to 97 due to the recent tragic passing of Andrew Devine who suffered and lived with life-changing injuries).