NATO forces ‘100% ready’ to defend Europe if Russia invades
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Earlier this week Labour said its commitment to the alliance was “unshakeable”. However, new evidence has again raised questions about the party leader’s stance after he presided over a vote in his late 20s urging the military alliance be dismantled.
A Tory MP has written to Sir Keir for clarification after discovering findings which cause doubt about Labour’s previous denial of the leader’s role in the motion calling on the end of NATO.
While a practising lawyer, Sir Keir was Secretary of the radical left-wing Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.
Express.co.uk in February uncovered documents that showed the group passed a resolution under the watch of the Holborn and St Pancras MP in 1989 saying the Labour Party should “adopt a non-nuclear, non-aligned defence policy as the precondition for the preservation and extension of human rights”.
It backed the UK scrapping its nuclear deterrent and quitting the alliance.
When this website first reported on the damning document, Labour rejected allegations Sir Keir had ever supported ending NATO.
“Keir Starmer has no knowledge of this motion,” a Labour spokesperson said at the time.
They added: “It was a Labour government that signed the UK up to NATO and Keir Starmer continues to be a proud advocate of the value of the NATO alliance and the principles of solidarity.”
However, Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell has since uncovered fresh evidence that suggests claims Sir Keir was unaware of the Haldane Society’s motion are false.
In a letter sent to the Labour leader and shared with Express.co.uk, the Romford MP highlights that the Society’s constitution requires the Secretary to “organise the time, place, and agenda of all meetings of the Society” and “ensure the keeping of minutes of every meeting of the Executive Committee and General Meeting”.
Asking Sir Keir to clarify his position, he wrote: “This clearly does not align with your spokesperson’s comments that you had ‘no knowledge of the motion’ – can you therefore clarify whether you in fact did attend and minute this meeting, including the anti-NATO motion, in line with the Society’s constitutional requirements?”
Mr Rosindell called on the Opposition politician to publicly “disavow the statements made by the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers”.
In the face of the threat from Vladimir Putin after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western leaders have looked to bolster their support for NATO.
Britain has increased its military presence in Eastern Europe and has renewed its commitment to defend any member of the alliance attacked by Moscow.
Earlier this week shadow defence secretary John Healey wrote a newspaper column in which he hailed Labour as “the party of NATO”.
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“Labour values are embedded at the heart of the alliance, with its founding treaty enshrining democracy, freedom, peace and the rule of law, as well as collective security.
“It embodies British and Labour internationalism at its best,” he wrote in The Telegraph.
He added he wished to “underline Labour’s unshakeable commitment to the alliance”.
The Labour Party did not respond to Express.co.uk’s request for comment on Mr Rosindell’s letter.
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