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Editorial: All power to Andrew Feinstein in his fight to unseat Starmer

THE latest opinion polls are showing that it is possible Rishi Sunak will lose his own parliamentary seat come July 4. The voters in Richmond, Yorkshire, may be as tired of the Tory Premier as the rest of the country.

Just as Liz Truss will be in the record books far into the future as Britain’s briefest-serving prime minister, so may Sunak be remembered as the first to lose his own constituency in a general election, going straight from Downing Street to the dole queue — or, in his case, a vast private fortune.

No such worries appear to afflict his presumed successor, Sir Keir Starmer, sitting atop a mountainous majority in his north London constituency and further buoyed by Labour’s national polling lead.

But they should. The voters in Holborn and St Pancras also have the chance to speak for the nation by rejecting a bankrupt and duplicitous leader.

Did Starmer represent the people of Camden, the borough his seat sits within, when he endorsed Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza, refused to call for a ceasefire until given permission to do so by Washington, and backs continued arms sales to the aggressor? Not likely.

Do they endorse his Islamophobic political positioning, his authoritarian indifference to civil liberties, his culling of any remotely progressive Labour candidate? We doubt it.

Now they have a unique opportunity to clip Starmer’s wings. The country may want, as much through weary resignation and anti-Tory sentiment as anything else, a Labour government. There is absolutely no indication that it wants a specifically Starmer-led one.

And Holborn and St Pancras has an outstanding alternative. It is Andrew Feinstein, an independent left candidate who has parliamentary experience from his service as an African National Congress MP in his native South Africa.

Feinstein, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is well-placed to call out Starmer’s cynical abuse of anti-semitism as a political weapon against the left. He is one of many progressive Jewish men and women sanctioned by the Starmer apparatus.

But he is much more than that. He expresses popular revulsion against unaccountable and corrupt politicians, remote from their constituents and any discernible values alike. He champions meeting the housing and welfare needs of a constituency with far more social problems than those not familiar with the class divisions in north London may imagine.

Feinstein brings to the campaign the experience of fighting against apartheid in South Africa, which has made him all the more determined to challenge it in Israel.

He has been receiving a very warm response from voters in Camden, who are no more enamoured of their MP than anyone else. While his task may seem hopeless, it has already rattled Starmer’s team.

One possible sign of that is the presence of another independent candidate, Wais Islam, supposedly championing Gaza but also deeply connected to Labour’s right wing.

He has been touting himself around the local Muslim community in a bid to siphon off votes which would otherwise go to Feinstein, although his pro-Palestinian political efforts seem negligible.

Islam denies being a “sock puppet” splitting candidate, but many are unconvinced. At any event, it is clear that the only genuine alternative to Starmer is Feinstein.

He would bring a breeze of integrity and a commitment to justice to the Commons and would serve both the country and the constituency better than the incumbent, who has barely shown his face in the area during the campaign.

There will be challenging choices for many on the left on election day. But in Holborn and St Pancras it is straightforward. Vote Andrew Feinstein for Palestine, progress and democracy.

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