Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy pictured visiting picket line

Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)
Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Lisa Nandy has visited striking workers on a picket line, despite party leader Sir Keir Starmer instructing frontbenchers not to attend.

A photograph tweeted by North West regional secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Carl Webb, appeared to show the shadow levelling up secretary Ms Nandy meeting striking workers at Wigan picket line on Monday morning.

The image was accompanied by the caption: “Thanks @lisanandy for taking the time to visit the @cwugmersey Wigan picket line this moring (sic) to speak to #TheCWU BT & Openreach members on strike and show solidarity”.

It comes in apparent defiance of Sir Keir Starmer saying Labour must move from being a “party of protest” to one that can win an election.

The Labour leader has said he supports people’s right to strike, but is seeking to contain a row with unions and the left wing of his party over his decision to sack Sam Tarry from the front bench after he gave broadcast interviews from a picket line.

Sir Keir accused Mr Tarry of making up policy “on the hoof” in defiance of the party’s “collective responsibility”, with the move provoking fury on the Labour left.

Mr Tarry, MP for Ilford South tweeted: “Great to see @lisanandy on the picket line. Senior Labour politicians need to demonstrate loud and clear that our Party is on the side of ordinary working people who are fighting back against this anti-worker Government.”

The Standard has contacted the Labour party for comment.

A member of Ms Nandy’s team told Sky News that she had gone to the picket line to “show her support for people campaigning for better pay and conditions at a really tough time, as you’d expect”.

"As Keir said in the Mirror piece yesterday, we support their right to do that, and what they need now is a Labour government so they don’t feel like they’re on their own when times are tough."