Rebecca Long-Bailey breaks silence after being sacked by Sir Keir Starmer – ‘Very sad’

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Ms Long-Bailey was fired on Thursday after sharing an article online which contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Writing in The Guardian, Ms Long-Bailey discussed what led to the “mess” she found herself in after sharing the article by Maxine Peake, who lives in her Salford constituency. She said she took full responsibility for her actions and was determined not to ignore the issue of anti-Semitism.

She wrote: “I know how painful the issue of anti-Semitism has been for the Jewish community and I have been part of the efforts to eradicate it from our party.”

The former Labour leadership contender added: “Complete silence from me over what had just happened would have been an abdication of the Labour Party’s responsibility to advance dialogue and understanding on this issue; silence is what allows anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to fester and spread.

“I asked to issue a press statement and to discuss it with Keir, so we could sort this out.

“But when he did call me, he had made his decision.

“It was a mess, and an avoidable one.”

The 40-year-old went on to say she felt “very sad” about being fired.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has appointed Kate Green MP as his new shadow education secretary.

There had been calls from MPs on the left of the party for the former shadow Treasury minister to be reinstated.

However, Sir Keir dismissed the demands following a meeting with riled backbenchers, saying his mind was made up.

On Friday, members of the Campaign group of MPs held a conference call with Sir Keir to protest against Ms Long-Bailey’s dismissal as shadow education secretary.

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Sir Keir said the meeting with concerned MPs was “constructive and the tone was absolutely right”, but ultimately ended in disagreement.

“We engaged for about an hour in discussion but my mind is made up on this,” he said.

“I took my decision yesterday and put my statement out yesterday.”

And on Monday Sir Keir Starmer said he stands by his decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey from her role as shadow education secretary last week.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: “When I took over as leader of the Labour Party, I said I would root out anti-Semitism, and I’ve been judged by my actions, not by my words.

“I took the decision I did on Thursday and it was the right decision.”

Sir Keir was asked whether Ms Long-Bailey would have kept her job if she had apologised.

The Labour leader said: “I won’t go through the ins and outs of the discussions with Rebecca Long-Bailey on Thursday.

“Bt it’s well known that she was asked to delete the tweet, that didn’t happen, and I took the action that I did.”

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