Sam Tarry responds after being fired by Keir Starmer
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Members of the party were left venting after their leader sacked one of his frontbenchers who joined workers on the picket line of a rail strike. Sam Tarry was relieved of his duties as a shadow transport minister after he stood shoulder to shoulder with those taking industrial action outside Euston station.
His actions defied orders from the leadership to steer clear of the picket lines and he further antagonised Sir Keir after giving a series of media interviews in which he appeared to fail to stick to the party line on the strike action.
Within hours of his sacking, one local Constituency Labour Party (CLP) had already passed a motion in protest, saying they were “shocked and angered” by Sir Keir’s decision.
Tottenham CLP warned the Labour leader that being a part of his top team should “in no way preclude Labour MPs from their primary duty of showing solidarity to working-class people taking action in defence of their jobs, pay and conditions”.
The local group called for an urgent shadow cabinet reshuffle to fill Sir Keir’s top team with MPs who has shown support for the strikes.
“We demand that a new Shadow Cabinet be formed composed of those MPs who have demonstrated their active support of workers in the struggle by joining picket lines in the current RMT dispute and other recent strikes,” the motion stated.
Many of the Labour MPs who have been seen on the picket lines have been those on the left of the party who are close allies with former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, and Richard Burgon were among other Labour MPs to join those on strike.
Express.co.uk has been told other CLPs are considering passing their own motions to send a clear message to Sir Keir about the anger of thousands of local members at his actions.
This website has also shown a petition being shared among members to help build a volunteer army to support Mr Tarry.
The Ilford South MP is at risk of being de-selected by his CLP, banning him from being the party’s candidate at the next election.
Members angry with Sir Keir now want to ramp up the number of people willing to campaign on Mr Tarry’s behalf to secure his position.
They believe seeing off the attempts to oust him would be a powerful way of showing support for his decision to join those on strike.
Explaining the decision to sack Mr Tarry, a Labour spokesman said last night: “The Labour Party will always stand up for working people fighting for better pay, terms and conditions at work.
“This isn’t about appearing on a picket line.
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Labour MP Sam Tarry defies Starmer's orders and joins picket line
“Members of the frontbench sign up to collective responsibility.
“That includes media appearances being approved and speaking to agreed frontbench positions.
“As a government-in-waiting, any breach of collective responsibility is taken extremely seriously and for these reasons Sam Tarry has been removed from the frontbench.”
But the decision has further exacerbated factionalism within the party.
Mr McDonell this morning described it as a “severe mistake” and a “misreading the mood of the public”, while York Central MP Rachael Maskell called for the Labour leader to visit picket lines.
Meanwhile, former Labour deputy prime minister Lord John Prescott appeared to give his support to Mr Tarry as he tweeted a photo of himself addressing striking miners when he was shadow transport secretary in 1984.
In a statement, Mr Tarry said it had been a “privilege” to serve on Labour’s top team.
“I remain committed to supporting the striking rail workers, and campaigning for a Labour victory at the next general election, which I will fight for relentlessly from the backbenches,” he added.
Rail passengers across the country suffered travel chaos as a result of the strikes as thousands of workers walked out, crippling services across the country.
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