Published On: Mon, Jul 8th, 2024
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Owen Jones tears into Emily Thornberry after Keir Starmer Cabinet snub | Politics | News

Hard-left attack dog Owen Jones has torn into Emily Thornberry after the senior Labour MP was dealt a major snub by Sir Keir Starmer.

Having appointed his new Cabinet last week, Ms Thornberry stood out as the only shadow cabinet minister not to receive the same job that they had in opposition.

The Islington South MP had served as Labour’s shadow attorney general for nearly three years, already having been demoted from Sir Keir’s international trade spokesman following the party’s leadership contest.

Instead, Sir Keir installed senior barrister Richard Hermer, an outside appointment that required swiftly installing him in the House of Lords to take up the top job.

Earlier today, Emily Thornberry broke her weekend-long silence with an emotional statement, revealing she was “very sorry and surprised” not to be appointed to a top Cabinet job.

She pointed out that with “eight-and-a-half unbroken years in the Shadow Cabinet”, she had a “longer record of service than anyone else in that time”.

“I wish all my brilliant colleagues well, and I know that Richard Hermer KC – a much more accomplished lawyer than I could ever hope to be – will do an outstanding job as Attorney General.

“Nothing in the personal disappointment I feel can detract from the amazing and historic victory that all of us in the Labour movement worked together to win last week, and the chance that we now have to change our country for the better.

“I will continue giving my unstinting loyalty to our Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, as he leads that work, as I have done since he became leader, and I look forward to supporting his government in every way I can in the years to come.”

While many in the Labour Party offered their commiserations to Ms Thornberry, hard-left commentator Owen Jones tore into the senior MP, demanding to know: “Are you going to apologise for legitimising Israeli war crimes on behalf of Keir Starmer now he’s snubbed you?”

He shared a Newsnight clip in which Ms Thornberry responded to accusations Sir Keir had defended Israel cutting off water and electricity to Palestine, comments the Labour leader insists were taken out of context.

Responding to a question about whether such a move would be in breach of international law, Ms Thornberry said: “What is simple, is whatever actions are taken by a democracy it has to be done in accordance with international law, and you will have heard tonight from the President of the US that he has been on the phone to Netanyahu and both of them have agreed that democracies need to act in accordance with international law”.

“I think that Israel has an absolute right to defend itself against terrorists… it is an answer to the question that you asked and it is an appropriate one at this time.”

Owen Jones also observed: “The Greens went from fourth to second place in Emily’s constituency – my own – with very little campaigning”.

“Next time, they can take it.”

The Green Party, which has been vocal in its support for Palestine, were 15,455 votes behind Ms Thornberry in the election last Thursday, and would struggle to close the 36 percent lead she has over them.

Twitter users blasted Mr Jones’ response, however, with one accusing him of being “a very angry man”, while another told him to “grow up”.

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