Labour's John McDonnell and Diane Abbott cave to Starmer's threats as pair pull out of Stop The War rally - Corbyn attends event

Jeremy Corbyn told the rally 'there can be no justification' for Russia's aggression in Ukraine

Published

Former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Labour stalwart Diane Abbott have pulled out of a Stop The War rally in Brighton, amid pressure from the party's leadership. Jeremy Corbyn, however, who is sitting as an independent, has attended the event.

LabourList have reported that the senior Labour MPs are not attending the event, after it emerged that Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, told his parliamentarians there was "no place" in the party for individuals who drew a "false equivalence" between the actions of the Kremlin and Nato.

It's been suggested that any backbenchers who made a comment critical of Nato or attributed blame to the West for Russian invasion of Ukraine at the rally would lose the Labour whip.

Mr Corbyn told the rally: "If there’s one heartening thing at the moment, it has been the scenes of thousands of people on the streets of Russia standing up to their government against the war."

This comes after eleven Labour MPs that signed an open letter from the Stop The War Coalition which criticised Nato withdrew their names.

The eleven were threatened with the removal of the whip if their names were not taken off the letter.

A Labour spokesperson said: "The small number of Labour MPs that signed the Stop The War statement have all now withdrawn their names.

"This shows Labour is under new management.

"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."