Union firebrand Len McCluskey has launched a blistering attack on Sir Keir Starmer – claiming Labour could ‘go under’ with him at the helm.
In a bombshell memoir – to be published on the same day as Sir Keir’s Labour conference speech – the union baron will accuse him of an ‘anti-democratic crackdown on the Left’.
The Unite general secretary, nicknamed ‘Red Len’, will also finally confirm his relationship with Jeremy Corbyn’s former chief-of-staff Karie Murphy. Among a number of revelations in the book, he will suggest Sir Keir is unable to win back the ‘Red Wall’ seats Labour lost in 2019, accusing the party leader of failing to inspire public confidence.
Union firebrand Len McCluskey has launched a blistering attack on Sir Keir Starmer – claiming Labour could ‘go under’ with him at the helm. He is set to launch a memoir on the date of Sir Keir’s conference speech. Mr McCluskey will use his book to announce his relationship with Jeremy Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy
Sir Keir, pictured, faces a tough conference with supporters of former leader Jeremy Corbyn seeking his readmission into the party
And he will include details about private conversations with Sir Keir and his deputy Angela Rayner about Mr Corbyn’s suspension last year.
Former nurse Miss Murphy was at the centre of a row over Labour’s selection of an election candidate in Falkirk in 2013 amid claims of vote-rigging by Unite.
She was temporarily suspended from the party but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
Mr McCluskey, 71, has always strongly denied claims about their relationship. In January 2019, Unite threatened legal action after the Guido Fawkes news website reported they had shared a room together after a New Year’s Eve party.
When the Mail approached the union for comment at the time, Unite’s assistant general secretary Howard Beckett dismissed the claims as ‘untrue, vexatious and malicious’. But in his book, titled Always Red, Mr McCluskey boasts about how they kept the relationship secret.
‘As Karie become more high profile, rumours abounded about our personal connection,’ he writes. ‘The media, desperate for a way to undermine Corbyn, constantly threatened to expose that we were involved.
‘We had no intention of providing them with that ammunition. So we engaged the press in a game of cat and mouse, getting Howard Beckett to use his legal genius to knock out gossipy stories.
‘We wanted our relationship to be kept private, away from the public gaze.’
Details of the book were made public yesterday after a leaked preview copy was obtained by Sky News.
But sections about Mr McCluskey’s conversations with Sir Keir and Mrs Rayner about Mr Corbyn’s suspension have been redacted and are expected to cause turmoil in the party when they are published next month.
Sir Keir yesterday dismissed Mr McCluskey’s warning that Labour could ‘go under’ with him as leader.
He said: ‘I’ve a lot of respect for Len McCluskey but I don’t agree with him on everything and this is one where I don’t agree with him.’
Asked why he did not agree with the union boss’s assessment, he replied: ‘Because I think he’s wrong.’
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