Labour’s Latest Tory MP Continues to Cause Uproar Within the Party

Labour’s admission of former Tory MP Natalie Elphicke has sparked uproar within the party and raised concerns among MPs and supporters over her anti-strike stance and controversial background. Here’s the full story. 

More Headaches

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Labour’s controversial decision to welcome the former right-wing Tory MP Natalie Elphicke into the party ranks has caused more headaches for Labour Leader Keir Starmer. 

Up in Arms

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After a week in which many in the Labour Party were up in arms over the admission of Elphicke, who has a history of taking far-right stances on immigration and who has been forced to apologise to victims of her ex-husband, former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke, who was convicted of sexually assaulting two women and sentenced to two years in prison.

“Easy Target”

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Elphicke defended her then-husband when the allegations of sexual assault became public, stating that he was “charming, wealthy, charismatic and successful – attractive, and attracted to, women”, all of which made him an “easy target for dirty politics and false allegations.”

“Inconsistent With Labour Values”

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Following her move across the benches to join Labour, many members of the party were in an uproar, with Jess Bernard, a member of Labour’s National Executive Council (NEC), saying of Keir Starmer: “His welcoming of Natalie Elphicke undermines the fight against sexual harassment and is totally inconsistent with Labour values.”

“Suspend the Whip”

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She continued, “I call on him to suspend the whip from Elphicke and apologise for the hurt caused.”

“Incredibly Stressful and Difficult”

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In her apology, Elphicke noted that the period leading up to her ex-husband’s conviction was “an incredibly stressful and difficult one for me as I learned more about the person I thought I knew.”

“Far Harder”

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She continued, “I know it was far harder for the women who had to relive their experiences and give evidence against him. I have previously, and do, condemn his behaviour towards other women and towards me. It was right that he was prosecuted and I’m sorry for the comments that I made about his victims.”

Feeling the Strain

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As if these problems were not bad enough, Labour’s close ties with the trade union movement appear to be the latest relationship to feel the strain from Elphicke’s welcome into the party. 

Anti-Strike Stance

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Matt Wrack, president of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), strongly condemned Elphicke’s previous anti-strike stance, deeming it incompatible with Labour’s principles. 

“Anti-Union Laws”

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In a letter to Starmer, which the Guardian saw, Wrack wrote, “On Tuesday 12 March this year, she [Elphicke] spoke in support of the new anti-union laws by blaming striking firefighters for the deaths of three people during a past national firefighters’ strike. This is a disgraceful attack on firefighters, who protect the public and save lives every day, sometimes at great personal cost.”

“Political Wing of the Labour Movement”

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He continued, “The Labour party is the political wing of the labour movement … Attacking trade union members in this way to justify support for draconian anti-worker laws ought to be incompatible with membership of the parliamentary Labour party. Natalie Elphicke should never have been given the Labour whip, but these remarks further undermine the decision to accept her into the party. There appears to have been little, if any, due diligence.”

Repeal the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act

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The welcoming of Elphicke has caused tension with the Labour-supporting unions after Labour promised unions that, within the first 100 days of taking office, they would repeal the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act, which bans strike action in parts of the public sector in all but name.

“Characterised by Incompetence”

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Starmer attempted to defend his decision to welcome Elphicke, who would stand down at the next election, into the party. Starmer stated, “I am very pleased to welcome Natalie to the Labour party. Natalie’s conclusion, having thought about this profoundly, is that Rishi Sunak has effectively lost control of the borders, the Tory party is characterised by incompetence and the Labour party has changed. I think that is a very powerful thing to have said.”

“Less Tribal”

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Despite Starmer urging MPs and members of his party to be “less tribal,” Jess Philips, the former Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence, told LBC she would “probably have said no” when Elphicke asked to cross the floor of the House of Commons. 

“I Just Don’t Buy It”

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Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, was considerably more scathing in her review of Starmer’s decision. In a statement to the BBC, she said, “[Elphicke] was a member of the [Eurosceptic] European Research Group; she voted for Liz Truss in the leadership; she’s at odds when it comes to fire and rehire; she has attacked trade unions and their activities; [she’s] not great on the environment either. So unless she’s had the biggest Damascene conversion ever, I just don’t buy it.”


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This uproar comes at a sensitive time for Elphicke. Her former Conservative colleagues have attempted to disown her move to Labour, with some claiming that she only joined Labour because she was “bitter” at not being promoted within the Conservative Party. 

Concerns Raised

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Whatever the reason, Labour’s decision to embrace Natalie Elphicke has ignited a contentious debate within the party and raised concerns among MPs, members and trade unions about what the party stands for under Keir Starmer. 

Uncertain Future

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While some view her defection as a strategic manoeuvre to broaden Labour’s appeal, others question the compatibility of her views with Labour’s historical commitments to workers’ rights and social justice. It remains to be seen which view will win out.

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The post Labour’s Controversial New Addition Continues to Cause Party Headaches first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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