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Labour Urged to Increase Support for Ukraine and Play ‘Leading Role’ in Ensuring It Can ‘Defeat’ Russia

An appeal, backed by prospective Labour MPs and members of the Trade Union Movement, has identified a number of key changes it wants a Starmer-led government to make to ensure that Ukraine wins the war

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting pictured in the in the East Midlands on June 26. Photo: PA Images / Alamy
Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting in the East Midlands on 26 June. Photo: PA/Alamy

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The expected incoming Labour government is being urged to increase its support for Ukraine to “secure a just peace” by a group of prospective Labour MPs and members of the Trade Union Movement – including playing a “leading role” in supplying it with weapons and pushing for an international war crimes tribunal to hold Russian leaders to account.

Prospective Labour MPs including John McDonnell, Clive Lewis, and Ian Lavery have backed an appeal for change championed by the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign. Almost a dozen former and current parliamentary candidates, from the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party, are supporting the directive in Scotland.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 Summit in Italy earlier this month. Photo: G7 Italia 2024/Alamy

A campaign spokesperson told Byline Times that the group had raised its concerns with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, but he was unwilling to meet with it and members of the Ukrainian community.

Given the likelihood of a Labour government being elected next week (polls had the party at 41% on Tuesday), the spokesperson said the campaign “focused on a statement backed” by prospective Labour MPs and the labour movement. The group has also contacted MPs who supported the Early Day Motions in March, and the appeal statement has been published in Ukraine in the magazine Krytyka.

The appeal statement notes that the General Election takes places at a time when Ukraine is “at a crossroads and with it the fate of this key battle for democracy with the new authoritarianism”, and states that the war should be a “key issue”, presenting an opportunity for “change to help Ukraine win and secure a just peace”.

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“We have seen new Russian offensives, increased attacks on civilians and infrastructure, a situation made worse by aid delays due to obstruction by far-right forces such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump,” the appeal states.

“Recent advances by the far-right in Europe, and risk of a Trump presidency, pose a
serious threat to Ukraine and democracy globally, they are reinforcing efforts by
Putin to undermine continued international support for Ukraine… our continued solidarity with the Ukrainian people, including their trade unions, who against the odds are resisting Russian imperialism”.

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The campaign calls on a new government to take the following steps:

Russia is waging an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation, unseen in Europe since 1945. Russian state forces have perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities on a horrifying scale, with over 108,904 recorded by Ukraine.

Ukraine Solidarity Campaign appeal


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The appeal concludes: “We call for renewed and expanded solidarity to help Ukraine win a just peace, on 4 July let us start making it a reality.”

A campaign spokesperson told Byline Times that the war in Ukraine should have “far greater prominence” in the election, especially as figures on the right, such as Reform Leader Nigel Farage, US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, and Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán seek to “weaken support” for Ukraine and its chances of victory.

“What we want to happen is for Ukraine to be an election issue, one where Labour will set out how it will support Ukraine differently and with a clear objective – to help Ukraine win the war,” the appeal states. “With a belief Ukraine can win.”

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