Keir Starmer blocks restoring Labour Party whip to Jeremy Corbyn
- Credit: PA
Despite Jeremy Corbyn being readmitted to the Labour Party, Keir Starmer has blocked restoring the parliamentary party whip to the long-standing MP.
The Islington North MP was suspended from Labour last month for his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report which found that the party had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
Corbyn claimed that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and “much of the media” – though he has since sought to clarify his comments.
A panel of the NEC decided on Tuesday that the former party leader should be readmitted as a member, but he will continue to sit as an independent MP until Sir Keir restores the whip.
But Starmer has now said he will not restore the whip to Corbyn because he “undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle anti-Semitism”.
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In a statement, he said: “Since I was elected Labour leader, I have made it my mission to root out anti-Semitism from the Labour Party.
“I know that I will judged on my actions, not my words.
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“The disciplinary process does not have the confidence of the Jewish community. That became clear once again yesterday.
“It is the task of my leadership to fix what I have inherited. That is what I am resolute in doing and I have asked for an independent process to be established as soon as possible.
“I’m the Leader of the Labour Party, but I’m also the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
“Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in response to the EHRC report undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle antisemitism.
“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”
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