Len McCluskey's revelation about the deal with Starmer to lift Corbyn's suspension has forced a response from Starmer's office. It's contradictory, weird & accidentally damning.
Most important: they don't contest any of the direct quotes Len provides.
For example look at this: direct quotes from Starmer, including the admission "He put me in an impossible position and I had no choice."
They don't deny he said it, they just say it doesn't mean what it means. "Labour sources denied those words were tantamount to an admission."
Similarly, Len asked Starmer "if we could reach an agreed form of words that both Jeremy and you, Keir, are happy with, then the suspension could be lifted?" Starmer said "Yes." That's unambiguous. It's an agreement. No denial it was said.
Again, direct quotes from Starmer's chief of staff; an agreement, a deal. No denial it was said.
They daren't deny these things were said, so instead they claim they've been misinterpreted. We're meant to believe they were all just having a chat about what they expected to happen. It was just a coincidence that they were agreeing the text of a statement at the same time.
But this excuse is actually very revealing because if it was Starmer's expectation "based on precedent" that Jeremy's suspension would be lifted, then he knew immediately that Jeremy hadn't done anything to warrant it. So why the hell was he suspended?
And if Starmer expected from the very beginning that Corbyn would be cleared—which is what *he* is now insisting—then how come he withdraw the whip when Corbyn _was_ cleared?
He's got himself tied up in knots. Faced with quotes he can't deny, he has to twist his story to fit.
Unwilling to refute quotes and facts, Starmer's office explains the "disparity" between the stories with a complete red herring: that Corbyn refused to delete his original Facebook statement. But that's got nothing to do with the deal that Len reveals.
The issue of deleting the Facebook post came later, after Corbyn was readmitted by the NEC. Len is describing what happened earlier, in negotiations over the deal. Whether a Facebook post was deleted later isn't relevant to the earlier negotiations. They're shifting the grounds.
But if, on the other hand, Starmer's office is claiming that deleting the statement was part of the deal, then they're admitting there was a deal, despite denying there was a deal in the previous paragraph.
Either way, they haven't got their story straight.
Starmer's team's big retort is: "Len cannot acknowledge that even he could not get Jeremy to apologise or retract his original statement."
The thing is, Len never asked Jeremy to. That wasn't part of the deal. Starmer only demanded an apology *after* the whip was withdrawn.
It's interesting that the demand from Starmer now appears to be that Jeremy must delete his Facebook statement. Previously it was that he must apologise. If the terms keep changing, how can Jeremy ever trust the other side?
Finally, the weirdest claim in Starmer's team's response is that Corbyn was suspended because of the conclusions of the EHRC report.
This is completely new. They've always said he was suspended for his statement in response to the report, not for the content of the report itself
Have they just got mixed up, or did they actually suspend Jeremy for one thing but tell him, and the NEC, it was for another thing?
Why is their line always changing?
It seems they're in a constant state of confusion about what they did and why.
Or they're making it up.
If what they're saying is true (it isn't) and the head of legal and the general secretary decided to suspend Corbyn, why did they bypass the Governance and Legal Unit? If the head of legal knew the EHRC's conclusions, he must have known the report said GLU had to handle it.
The idea "Starmer was in the room at the time" it was decided to suspend a former Labour Leader, but didn't have any involvement, stretches credulity even without knowing he told Len he did it & boasted about it on the radio. What is it they say, "present but not involved"?
So in the blue corner, Starmer's team deny a deal, but their arguments are inconsistent, illogical & anonymous.
In the red corner, Len is on the record saying there was a deal, providing uncontested verbatim quotes & showing Starmer to be dishonest.
Who would you believe?