Union leadership contender once claimed patriotism leads to racism

Union leadership contender who called for Priti Patel to be deported once claimed that patriotism – including flying the British flag – leads to racism

  • Howard Beckett was accused of racism for calling for Priti Patel to be deported 
  • Labour suspended the union leadership contender amid criticism of the remarks
  • It has emerged he claimed patriotism, such as flying Union flag, leads to racism
  • He previously attacked Sir Keir Starmer for ‘wrapping [party] in the Union Jack’

A union leadership contender who called for Priti Patel to be deported has claimed that patriotism – including flying the Union flag – leads to racism.

Howard Beckett, who is running to succeed Len McCluskey as general secretary of Unite, was accused of racism for calling for the Home Secretary to be kicked out, describing her as ‘disgusting’ in a tweet. 

A member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, he was suspended from the party amid criticism of his remarks.

Howard Beckett (pictured), who is running to succeed Len McCluskey as general secretary of Unite, was accused of racism for calling for Home Secretary Priti Patel to be deported

Now it has emerged that he previously attacked Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to ‘wrap [the party] in the Union Jack’.

He said in an online video: ‘It’s extraordinary how many flags have been put up on speeches at the moment. Patriotism is dangerous.’

He added that it led to ‘xenophobia, racism and fascism’.

Mr Beckett said yesterday his tweet about Miss Patel, which he deleted, ‘was never intended to be literal’. 

He told Sky News: ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body.’

Now it has emerged that he previously attacked Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s (pictured on May 12) decision to ‘wrap [the party] in the Union Jack’

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