Starmer sparks left-wing war as hes caught on camera laughing at Labour heartland – VIDEO

Keir Starmer discusses the Coventry bin strike

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The dispute between, a Labour-run council and refuse collection workers, has sparked members of Unite in Coventry to strike for weeks in a long-running row over pay. But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer laughed off the spat in a BBC interview. Speaking to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, Sir Keir said: “In relation to the strike it’s obviously industrial action and what I want to see is pretty well what everybody wants to see which is an end to the dispute.

“That’s only going to happen if both sides are talking, they are talking art the moment.

“And I hope that resolves the issue because that’s the best thing in relation to this industrial dispute and most industrial disputes.

“On the funding, I don’t think an industrial dispute in Coventry should influence relations between the Labour Party and its trade unions, its affiliated trade unions, so it’s very important I make that clear as well.”

Twitter users appeared to be in shock by Sir Keir’s “snigger”.

Political commentator Owen Jones wrote: “The snigger when he says ‘Coventry’.”

While Novara media co-founder Aaron Bastani said: “The way Starmer says ‘Coventry’ with such utter disdain and contempt is how too much of Westminster views country outside London. But here it is really candid and obvious.”

Brexiteer Patrick O’Flynn added: “Oooh, the mask slips. Hear Starmer’s metropolitan disdain for the idea that a row that’s happening ‘in Coventry’ – smirk, smirk – should matter at all. Back to the reprogramming centre for more work.”

It comes as general secretary Sharon Graham said in a message to strikers on Wednesday: “Let me be very clear – the remaining financial support of the Labour Party is now under review.

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“Your behaviour and mistreatment of our members will not be accepted. It’s time to act like Labour, be the party for workers.”

She has said: “The Coventry Labour council has time and again totally misrepresented the union’s claims for its bin drivers. It should be ashamed of the spin it has tried to make about its own workers’ pay rates.

“These dreadful misrepresentations are deliberately designed to enrage the general public which directly risks the welfare of workers who are taking part in an entirely legal dispute, and this, a Labour council.

“Other councils up and down the UK have increased pay rates for refuse collection drivers to preserve services due to the HGV driver shortages.

“If other councils can increase pay rates to preserve services and prevent an exodus of drivers, there is absolutely no reason why Coventry council can’t do the same.”


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Ms Graham added that both regional and national funding for Labour from Unite will now be under review.

She urged Labour to “pick up the phone and get this sorted”, saying: “It’s utterly disgusting that this council is putting workers through this misery.

“If we have to escalate, we will escalate and I personally will be getting involved.

“If we have to go door to door to tell the truth about this dispute, we will do.

“Our wallet is closed to bad employers.”

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