Anti-Israel activist Andrew Feinstein set to challenge Keir Starmer at general election

Andrew Feinstein. Pic: Twitter

The former South African MP and advisor to Nelson Mandela, Andrew Feinstein, looks set to challenge Labour leader Keir Starmer at the next general election in his Holborn and St Pancras constituency.

Feinstein, who lives in the London constituency and is the director of Corruption Watch UK, is the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors and has consistently stood against Israeli apartheid as well as genocide in Gaza.

He was chosen to run for the seat by a pro Jeremy Corbyn campaign group which has been set up to unseat Starmer.

However, Feinstein says he will wait to see if there is a “better candidate” before committing to the race.

He tweeted: “I am v grateful to the Camden For the Many local hub & OCISA for endorsing me as a possible independent candidate in Holborn & St. Pancras. I’ve indicated I am willing to stand. But there still needs to be a more extensive consultative process across the constituency to identify the best possible progressive unity candidate to stand against Starmer. If someone else is identified I will work tirelessly with them to get them elected. If I’m seen as that person I will stand in pursuit of. more accountable, more honest, more just politics.”

Feinstein, 59, has been a fierce critic of Starmer, accusing him of being a “human rights lawyer who has lost all humanity” after the International Criminal Court ruled there is a plausible risk that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

He also recently tweeted: “We must never forget and never forgive those responsible, directly and indirectly, for the repulsive depravity visited upon little Hind Rajab & so many Palestinians. This includes Biden, Sunak, Starmer, Scholz & the arms companies that profit from this genocide,” and: “I worked with Mandela – Starmer is the antithesis of Mandela: no courage, no principles, no integrity, no conviction, no morality, only mendacity.”

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After the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, Feinstein was a member of parliament from 1994 to 2001 as a member of the ruling ANC party.

In 2001, as a sign of protest against the ANC’s refusal to investigate a £5 billion arms deal that was accused of large-scale corruption, he resigned from his seat and moved to London.

Feinstein describes himself as a socialist, an anti-racist and an anti-militarist. He is on the Steering Committee of Stop the War, an active participant in the campaigns of Palestine Action and the PSC, and is on the boards of a number of progressive organisations, including DeClassified UK.

He says: “I am a friend and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. I believe that Keir Starmer has turned the Labour Party back into a neo-liberal, pro-war party where progressives have no place anymore.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.
Editorial credit: Rupert Rivett /

“Together, we can run a powerful campaign on the key local issues facing the residents of H&StP, including the cost of living crisis and Labour’s commitment to austerity; the NHS; housing and homelessness; cuts to benefits; and the appalling pay of key public servants including teachers and nurses.

“In parallel we can make this a campaign of national significance, by also focusing on Starmer’s constant lies; his uncritical support for Israel and his refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza; the party’s racist hierarchy of racism; and his support for the UK’s military adventurism and arms trade.

“A crucial element of this is exposing his billionaire donors, whose interests he serves at the expense of the residents of H&StP.

“I am proudly Jewish and married to a British Bangladeshi. As the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost dozens of her family in Auschwitz, where I have lectured on genocide prevention, I am appalled that Starmer has expelled more Jews from the Labour Party than all other leaders in its history, supposedly to ‘counter’ anti-semitism… We must do everything in our power to stop the Red Tory Starmer from triumphing.”

Starmer, in contrast, has been a staunch supporter of Israel since it began its genocide in Gaza and even instructed his party against backing a ceasefire in a Parliament vote in November.

He also has a commanding 28,000 majority in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency.

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