Revealed: Labour’s hawkish Shadow Foreign Relations team

SIR Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet reshuffle has allowed several ministers with records of supporting interventionist foreign policy to rise to the Labour Party’s frontbench, analysis shows.

Lisa Nandy’s foreign policy record won her the backing of our publication, but the ministers underneath her have a history of voting militaristically.

Wayne David, the new Shadow Minister for Middle East and North Africa, has almost always voted for the use of UK military forces overseas, according to his voting record.

Labour reshuffle: Lisa Nandy’s strong foreign policy record should maintain the party’s anti-imperialist line post-Corbyn

This includes five votes in favour of the Iraq War, and 14 against an investigation into the circumstances behind it.

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Since 2010, he has voted to establish a No-Fly zone in Libya, as well as being in favour of airstrikes on the Syrian Government.

There has also been a reluctance to support the Labour membership’s position that Trident should not be renewed.

Having resigned from Mr Corbyn’s front bench as part of a series of events that triggered the 2016 leadership election, he rejoined as Shadow Defence Minister under the conditions that the party would support the nuclear deterrent’s renewal.

Mr David’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Caerphilly MP is joined in his support for Trident by the new Shadow Minister for Europe and Americas, Catherine West.

It must be acknowledged that Mrs West has a fairly consistent anti-interventionist position, and served as Shadow Foreign Office minister under Mr Corbyn.

Stephen Doughty, the new Shadow Minister for Africa, voted for airstrikes in Syria and against an investigation into the Iraq War in 2016.

In a Facebook post made earlier this year – at a time when President Donald Trump was threatening to attack Iranian cultural sites – Mr Doughty began a statement by saying: “The Iranian regime is responsible for much ill in the Middle East and their domestic repression is heinous.”

Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific – and most recently famed for visiting his father during lockdown – was also against an Iraq War investigation.

In 2016 he was one of a number of Labour MPs to abstain on a Labour-led motion to bring about the cessation of the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen.

In April last year he attempted to undermine an attempt by Mr Corbyn to bring up Julian Assange’s detention – the charge against Mr Assange was dropped seven months later.


While Starmer’s other frontbench appointments leave much to be desired from an anti-interventionist viewpoint, they deserve to be given a chance to hold the typically hawkish Tory Party to account.


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