Kensington & ChelseaNews

Former Labour leader of Kensington and Chelsea council says national party has “lost its principles and values”

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A former London Labour leader has said she quit the party because of its stance on anti-black racism and Islamophobia.

Emma Dent Coad stepped down as leader of Kensington and Chelsea Labour on Thursday, April 27, saying she quit the party she had been a member of for 40 years because it had become “unrecognisable” in a video released on her Twitter page.

The former Kensington MP and Labour stalwart claimed the party under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership had lost its “principles and values”.

In her opinion, the party has failed to stand up for workers on strike and is not serious about fixing the NHS. She claims shadow ministers have been told not to stand with strikers protesting.

She said: “It’s the principle. They should be leading from the front and being a very, very good example. They should be saying: ‘Here I am, standing with the nurses, which is what we stand for. I am here physically because I stand for these principles.’ That’s gone, that’s now gone.”

She also accused the Labour Party of working “hand in glove” with private healthcare providers and said the party’s approach to anti-black racism was “woeful”.

She said: “It’s absolutely woeful and what happened to Diane Abbott is just one example of it.

“They will not stand up against anti-black racism, which is growing. Within the party, that’s unforgivable.

“They don’t stand out against Islamophobia. Where are we as an inclusive society if we can’t stand up against these appalling cases of racism?”

Ms Abbott was recently suspended from the Labour Party after suggesting Jewish, Irish and Traveller people were not subject to racism for “all of their lives” in an article in The Observer.

Ms Dent Coad said when Sir Keir took over the party in April 2020, she was confident he would adhere to the values and principles ushered in by his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

She said: “We were quite confident that in the end, it was going to be quite positive. The time had come for a different leadership but similar principles and values.

“Since then all the pledges have gone by the wayside and turned inside out and it has been a long, slow process. Pretty depressing, actually.”

She also claimed Labour HQ sent members a list of movements they could no longer affiliate with, like Stop the War, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Republic.

Labour London and Keir Starmer’s office were contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publishing.

Pictured top: Emma Dent Coad (Picture: PA)


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