Election Bombshell: Keir Starmer Faces Unexpected Challenge from Veteran Activist Andrew Feinstein

Andrew Feinstein, renowned anti-arms trade campaigner and former Mandela ally, runs against Starmer, condemning his “authoritarian” leadership and stance on Israel. Watch the explosive interview with Lowkey here.

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The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. “The Watchdog” goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.

A surprise general election has been called in the United Kingdom, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is the overwhelming favorite to become the next prime minister. But today’s guest is looking to upset that grim future.

Andrew Feinstein is standing against Starmer for his Holborn and St. Pancras seat in central London. Feinstein is an expert in the arms trade, a former member of the South African parliament under Nelson Mandela, and a tireless activist, who Watchdog host Lowkey describes as someone who “campaigned for decades on important issues that really cut to the core of power and the way it functions in society.”

Under Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party has ruthlessly purged leftist, anti-establishment voices from its ranks, including former leader Jeremy Corbyn. Feinstein described Starmer as holding an “authoritarian, undemocratic approach to politics,” accusing him of weaponizing anti-Semitism to carry out a witch hunt against radical elements within the party.

Starmer has given his full-throated endorsement to Israel, even as it carries out a genocidal onslaught against the people of Gaza, and strong-armed the Speaker of the House into shutting down a motion brought to parliament calling for a ceasefire. Meanwhile, he has expelled more Jews from the Labour Party than all other leaders combined, all under the guise of fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.

“This would be like expelling Nelson Mandela from the African National Congress in order to combat racism! It is that insane. And he actually thinks people are going to believe this; that what he is doing is correct,” Feinstein told Lowkey.

Feinstein is a white Jewish man who grew up in Apartheid South Africa. His mother is a survivor of Hitler’s genocidal ambitions, having hid for three years in a Viennese coal cellar to avoid detection by the Nazis. He became active in the anti-Apartheid struggle and became an elected official for the African National Congress during the country’s transition to democracy. He eventually resigned after being refused the right to investigate billions of dollars worth of arms deals signed by Mandela’s successor, Thabo Mbeki.

He warns that Starmer’s approach to politics represents a threat to democracy in the United Kingdom, and wants his campaign to be completely different, the antithesis of Starmer. “I don’t believe in professional politicians,” he told Lowkey. “I think politics should be about ordinary people being represented by other ordinary people from their community,” he added.

Feinstein stressed that local issues, such as hunger, unemployment, and a lack of housing, would be the key issues he would fight on. Nevertheless, he maintains an international perspective and is hopeful things are about to radically change across the globe. “This period of late neoliberal capitalism, which has bequeathed the world such injustice and such inequality, must be on its last legs. And that’s what gets me out of bed every morning,” he said.

Watch the full interview here, where the pair discusses politics in the U.K. and the success of direct action against Israeli arms factories. Feinstein shares personal stories about Mandela from their time working together.

Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist and academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.