A Labour mayor who shared a platform with Ken Loach was banned from standing again for election because ‘he ignored advice’, a senior party politician has claimed.
Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne mayor who has been dubbed the “last Corbynista in power”, was prevented from standing for election in 2024 following a recent on-stage discussion with Ken Loach.
The film director, who was expelled from Labour in 2021, has criticised the decision. Driscoll later resigned from the party last week and will stand as an independent in the North East mayoral election in May next year.
Now Rachel Reeves claimed Driscoll had ignored "good advice" to have the discussion with Loach.
Speaking on the Northern Agenda podcast, the Shadow Chancellor said: "It's up to Jamie Driscoll what he does, but he was ruled out of standing as the Labour candidate next year because Keir has taken an incredibly tough stance on antisemitism.
“He said it was the first commitment he made as the incoming leader of the Labour Party, that it would tear antisemitism out by its roots.
Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“And, you know, Jamie Driscoll against good advice, shared a platform with people who had been expelled from the Labour Party for antisemitism. And I'm not going to make any apologies for that tough stance on antisemitism.
"It is a deep shame and a deep stain on the Labour Party, that when Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the party, that antisemitism took hold, and so that's why Jamie Driscoll was barred from standing as a Labour candidate.”
The party have instead selected Kim McGuinness, the current Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, as their candidate for the North East mayoralty.
Reeves concluded: “Next year, she will, if she's elected, be the second female mayor, after Tracy Brabin, of course here in West Yorkshire and I look forward to campaigning alongside Kim to have another Labour mayor and another female mayor."
But Driscoll claimed Reeves had “made herself look foolish” and urged her and Labour “to get their own house in order before flinging mud at others”.
He added: “People are sick of infighting, and they just want politicians to get on with the job and not to play silly games.
“The NEC panel that interviewed me categorically told me that there was no allegation of antisemitism against me.
“Ken Loach was not kicked out of the Labour Party for antisemitism. He is a highly respected British filmmaker who recently received a standing ovation at Cannes.”
Loach has denied that he was expelled from the party due to antisemitism but because he was a member of the proscribed organisation, Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW).
The organisation claimed allegations of Labour antisemitism were “politically motivated”.