Keir Starmer booed by militant union at Durham Miners’ Gala

Miners' Gala

Image - Miners' Gala: KerrysWorld/

Boris Johnson is not the only politician who’s been booed by a public crowd this week. Following the rail strike, Sir Keir Starmer’s name was booed by militant rail unions at the Durham Miners’ Gala yesterday.

This is a very different reception than his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn has received every time he’s spoken at the Gala, about whom the trade unions tweeted that it “fully supports Jeremy’s leadership of the party and his ongoing and tireless efforts to secure a better future for our communities.”

The crowds chanting Corbyn’s name were in stark contrast to the jeers which the mention of Starmer elicited from the crowd. Corbyn has spoken at the Gala every year since he became leader of the Labour party before Keir Starmer took over the role in April 2020.

Corbyn was also in attendance this year, whereas Starmer didn’t show up at the Miners’ Gala, giving a “prior family engagement” as the reason for his absence, as reported by

Even if Starmer could have made the annual left-wing celebration, it’s unlikely that he would have been welcome. Mick Lynch, leader of the maritime union RMT in a direct address to “Keir Starmer and the front bench” told them “you need to find your voice, and its got to be the voice of the working people in struggle, or you’ve no place in our movement.” 

Lynch went on to passionately profess “We’re back. The working class is back. We refuse to be meek, we refuse to be humble and we refuse to be poor anymore” in a show of political solidarity with the other union members and working-class people in attendance. 

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Image - Annie Dabb
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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at