Keir Starmer’s comments on Dawn Butler takes fence-sitting to the next level

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Labour leader Keir Starmer has taken fence-sitting to the next level after claiming that he both supports Dawn Butler and the deputy speaker who expelled her from the House of Commons.

Starmer stated that Butler was right to call Boris Johnson a liar, and he branded the Prime Minister “the master of untruths and half-truths”.

Butler was told to leave the House of Commons on Thursday after refusing to withdraw allegations that Mr Johnson had “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.

It is not considered within the boundaries of parliamentary etiquette to call another member a liar.

But Starmer told LBC that she was right to do so. However, he also stated that:

But I do want to, in fairness to the temporary Speaker, Judith Cummins, who was there, she did the right thing, she followed the rules because Parliament doesn’t allow you to call other parliamentarians liars in the chamber, so I don’t criticise the Speaker … the Deputy Speaker for what she did, she was following the rules. But do I support Dawn in what she said? I absolutely do.

“It is dangerous to lie in a pandemic”

Butler had said: “Poor people in our country have paid with their lives because the Prime Minister has spent the last 18 months misleading this House and the country over and over again.”

Read on...

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She highlighted disputed claims made by the Prime Minister, including that the link between Covid-19 infection and serious disease and death had been severed.

She added: “It’s dangerous to lie in a pandemic.

“I am disappointed the Prime Minister has not come to the House to correct the record and correct the fact that he has lied to the House and the country over and over again.”

Asked on Monday whether he supports Butler, Starmer said he “absolutely” does.

He told LBC: “I agree with what Dawn had to say. I think the Prime Minister is the master of untruths and half-truths, and Dawn was simply giving some examples of that.

Dawn Butler comments
Labour MP Dawn Butler speaking in the Commons (House of Commons/PA)

“I think there’s a lot of people that feel that, you know, it’s the person who’s not telling the truth rather than the person who’s calling it out that ought to be on the hotspot. So, I agree with Dawn on that.

After Butler made her comments on Thursday,  Cummins intervened and said: “Order! Order! I’m sure that the Member will reflect on her words she’s saying and perhaps correct the record.”

Butler replied: “What would you rather – a weakened leg or a severed leg?

“At the end of the day the Prime Minister has lied to this House time and time again.

“It’s funny that we get in trouble in this place for calling out the lie rather than the person lying.”

Cummins intervened again and urged Ms Butler to “reflect” on her words and withdraw them.

Butler replied: “I’ve reflected on my words and somebody needs to tell the truth in this House – that the Prime Minister has lied.”

Cummins then read out a statement in which she ordered Ms Butler to “withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of the day’s sitting”.

Ms Butler left her seat and exited the chamber.

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  • Show Comments
    1. So stating the truth, the facts, is fence sitting? Really? Which planet is that on?
      “Butler was right to call Boris Johnson a liar, and he branded the Prime Minister “the master of untruths and half-truths”. Nothing wrong with that.
      “Butler was told to leave the House of Commons on Thursday after refusing to withdraw allegations that Mr Johnson had “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.
      “It is not considered within the boundaries of parliamentary etiquette to call another member a liar.”
      You seem to have your knickers in a twist over something. The problem isn’t Starmer is it. Or is it? Maybe parliamentary etiquette needs addressing, but be careful with that. Most parliaments have similar parliamentary etiquette. so why are you lambasting Starmer?

      1. The problem is Starmerfuhrer. If he were LOTO then Labour wouldn’t be disintegrating from the inside out. From the get-go he has held meetings with Zionists leaning groups, wrote for The Jewish Chronicle and has expunged 10’s of thousands of socialists from a socialist political party. I cannot wait for Labour to completely implode and a new socialist political party to emerge. Starmerfuhrer and his gang will receive pensions for all of the parliamentary posts they have held until the day they die. That is the whole point of their poisonous behaviour. They the right wing and centrists do not need Labour to survive…as the money’s already in the bag!

        1. Amazing. My comment was specifically about “Butler was told to leave the House of Commons on Thursday”. Nothing else. So why did you decide to go ballistic with totally unrelated claims?
          Further using childish names is nit exactly the action of a grown up. You actually remind me more of Trump’s delded supporters and the GOP in the USA than a sensible person.
          So why did you feel the need to totally ignore the facts I posted? Answer. You have none.

    2. Starmer’s statement is correct and matches Butler’s.

      I am not a fan of Starmer & believe he and the rest of Labour’s right wing should be ejected from the Labour party for a large number of reasons, but this statement not one of them.

      Canary, I’m sad to say your standards have really slipped over the past 3 months.

      1. I tend to agree with you that there is a tendency to try and make a story when there isn’t one, I’d prefer to have fewer articles all with a powerful message.

        That said, what I assume Starmer was trying to say was that he agreed with Dawn Butler but that the Deputy Speaker was merely applying the rules as they stand. As is often the case it came out as an incoherent babble, it’s hard to believe the man is a lawyer. Furthermore, the real story here is that Starmer is an establishment figure and didn’t call for parliamentary rules to be changed to permit the naming of outright liars.

        1. Starmer may well of been lying and an article on how his statement was a lie would be worth a read.
          Highlighting Starmer’s weak & late Twitter responses, or pointing out his tendency of being a stranger to the facts to demonstrate his real position.

          As this stands the article undermines the Canary’s factually backed opinions, which is why I began reading this site.

    3. For all those whining that “Well Starmer has now supported her”, it’s well worth noting it took longer than a week, and that the REAL ‘Leader of Labour’ managed to step up well before that date to offer her his support.

      Also noting that RottingFlipFlop now has an equally odious little ally.

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