Sir Keir Starmer has just announced he will not be restoring the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn following his comments about the extent of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party being exaggerated for political purposes.
A panel of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee last night reinstated Corbyn as a member, but this morning Starmer said he would not do the same with the whip. You can read his full statement below.
The reaction last night from Jewish groups to the NEC’s decision had made very clear that if Starmer accepted Corbyn back into the party on the basis of the non-apology he had issued, it would undo the new Labour leader’s work repairing relations with the Jewish community. In his statement, Starmer focused on the failure of the complaints system, and made clear that a new independent process must be set up as soon as possible.
Starmer would not have been able to claim, as he has done up to this point, that the Labour Party is ‘under new management’ if he ended up having to justify the readmission within 19 days of a man who presided over an explosion of anti-Semitism in the party. His decision now means that a feature of his new management will be dealing with the utter fury of the Corbynites that their man has been – as they will claim – forced out of the party.
Statement from the Leader of the Labour Party
Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
'Since I was elected Labour leader, I have made it my mission to root out antisemitism from the Labour Party. I know that I will judged on my actions, not my words.
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.'