Labour’s shadow equalities minister attacks Jeremy Corbyn over anthem row

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Labour’s new shadow equalities minister has rounded on her new boss – calling Jeremy Corbyn’s actions ‘offensive and hurtful’ just days after she was appointed.

Left-winger Mr Corbyn, who was formally elected to succeed Ed Miliband as Labour Party leader on Saturday, reshuffled his team following an exodus of senior shadow ministers, including Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall and Tristram Hunt.

Labour MP Kate Green was on Monday handed the Women and Equalities Brief, which covers legislation surrounding LGBT issues.

However, appearing on Radio 4’s Today Show, Ms Green found herself drawn in to a row over Mr Corbyn staying silent during the National Anthem at a Battle of Britain service.

She said: “It will have offended and hurt people. Jeremy absolutely stands with and respects everybody who has fought, who has lost their life, been wounded, in fighting.

“But for many people, the monarchy, singing the national anthem is a way of showing that respect.”

Asked whether he should have agreed to sing the anthem despite being a republican, she said: “I think it would have been appropriate and right and respectful of people’s feelings to have done so.”

Labour is the only major UK-wide party with no frontbenchers who voted against same-sex marriage following the reshuffle.

Of Mr Corbyn’s new team of 31 frontbenchers, every single one voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill that passed through Parliament in 2013.

Seven senior members of the Tory frontbench voted against, while Lib Dem Education spokesperson John Pugh voted against, and leader Tim Farron voted a mixture of for and against.