Keir Starmer’s clamp down on ‘Putin Apologists’ in Labour Party praised amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

Several Labour members signed a letter criticising NATO’s role in the Ukraine crisis

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Labour Shadow Defence spokesperson Lord Vernon Coaker criticised “apologists for Putin” within the Labour Party in a GB News interview this morning.

This was in response to several Labour members who signed a “Stop the War” letter criticising NATO’s role in the Ukraine crisis in the lead up to Russia’s invasion last week.

The letter, considered to be a strong pro-Russian sentiment, claimed the western alliance’s expansionism was what forced Putin to take action.

Among signees was former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and several of his MP allies.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer responded by threatening to expel the 11 MP’s who signed the letter from the party resulting in the swift withdrawal of their support.

Commenting on the matter, Lord Vernon Coaker told GB News: “Keir Starmer quickly said ‘you either withdraw your names or lose the whip’ so that's action not just words... that speaks volumes to his attitude.

“He was very clear about saying to them we stand with the government on this. There is no room in the Labour Party for apologists for what Putin is doing.

“Absolutely we are opposed to it and as a party and a movement we are united against it.” The Labour Party has previously been criticised as being a place where pro-Russian sentiments run strong.

A Labour spokesperson said: “With Keir Starmer’s leadership there will never be any confusion about whose side Labour is on — Britain, NATO, freedom and democracy — and every Labour MP now understands that.”

Pro-Russian sentiments have also recently been expressed by certain political groups within the European Parliament, mostly falling under the Identity and Democracy umbrella group for MEPs from Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, Italy’s League and Germany’s AfD.

Presidential candidates in France have also come under fire after agreeing with Putin’s notion that NATO is responsible for causing his invasion of Ukraine.

Former president of the United States Donald Trump, Putin a “genius” and his strategy “pretty smart” the day before military strikes in Ukraine began, but a few days later went on to claim he was a supporter of Ukraine.