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Long-Bailey and Burgon the only candidates to declare Labour should be ‘party of peace’

ONLY two Labour leadership and deputy candidates have responded to Stop the War’s questions about the future of the party’s foreign policy, it was revealed today.

Leadership candidate Rebecca Long Bailey and deputy candidate Richard Burgon have responded to the questions sent to all candidates a month ago.

StW said that it was “disappointing” that the other candidates have yet to respond before the membership ballots open on Monday.

The candidates were asked whether they each agreed that recent wars waged by Britain have been “disastrous” and whether they, if they were to be elected in leadership roles, would call for an end to foreign policy based on “wars of aggression.”

The letter also had questions over whether Britain’s foreign policy should be independent of the US, whether the candidates would support the immediate withdrawal of troops from the Middle East, and if Britain should end arms sales to oppressive regimes.

Candidates were also asked if there were any circumstances in which they would consider using nuclear weapons.

StW spokesman Mayer Wakefield told the Star that they received a response to the letter from Mr Burgon “relatively quickly.”

Ms Long Bailey’s response was received on Thursday. She said that outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn apologising for the party’s role in the Iraq war under Tony Blair’s premiership was a “moment we should all be proud of, but never should have been necessary.”

She added: “Not only must Labour be a party of peace, we must have an internationalist approach that we can achieve peace and global justice and through this ensure global stability.”

Ms Long Bailey also condemned arms sales to Saudi Arabia, spoke against “outsourcing” foreign policy to the US and Donald Trump’s “one-sided attempt to impose an unjust solution on Palestinians,” and in favour of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons.”

Mr Wakefield said that it is important that the next cohort of Labour leaders are anti-war to reflect the membership.

“Anyone who wants to lead the party needs to show that the previous Labour government’s record on these issues was a disaster, and that they would follow a different course,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that we haven’t heard from the other candidates, and it’s not a good sign going forward.”

Leadership candidates Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy, and deputy candidates Dawn Butler, Angela Rayner, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray had not responded to the letter at the time the Star went to print.

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