newsWorld News

Corbyn expelled from Labour after announcing run as independent 

“The first thing I said as Labour leader is that I would tear antisemitism out of our party by the roots,” said Keir Starmer. “That is why I took the decision that Jeremy Corbyn would not stand as a Labour candidate this election.”

Jeremy Corbyn, then leader of the UK Labour Party in 2018. Credit: B. Lenoir/Shutterstock.
Jeremy Corbyn, then leader of the UK Labour Party in 2018. Credit: B. Lenoir/Shutterstock.

Jeremy Corbyn has been expelled from the UK Labour Party that he once led after announcing that he would stand as an independent candidate in upcoming elections.

Keir Starmer, the current Labour head, announced in 2020 that Corbyn would not be permitted to run again as a Labour candidate amid persistent allegations that Corbyn was antisemitic and had allowed Jew-hatred to fester within the party.

Starmer repeated that rationale on Friday in an interview with Sky News.

“The first thing I said as Labour leader is that I would tear antisemitism out of our party by the roots. That was my first solemn promise,” he said. “I followed through on that and that is why I took the decision that Jeremy Corbyn would not stand as a Labour candidate this election.”

Corbyn released a video on Friday saying that he would run as an independent candidate for Islington North, the constituency he has represented since 1983.

As leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020, Corbyn was widely condemned by UK Jewish groups, Jewish members of the Labour Party and others for his long record of extreme anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias and for allowing such views to proliferate within the party.

In 2018, Corbyn acknowledged being “present” at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia that honored the Palestinian terrorists who murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

From 2009 to 2012, the Iranian-government-controlled Press TV channel paid Corbyn to make appearances on one of its call-in shows. In 2009 he referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends,” invited them to speak at Parliament and said that labeling Hamas a terrorist group was a “big historical mistake.”

In 2020, after Corbyn resigned as Labour leader, the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission issued a report saying that the Labour Party under Corbyn had illegally discriminated against Jews.

The report found that Labour violated the Equality Act of 2010 in three ways: “political interference in antisemitism complaints,” “failure to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism complaints” and “harassment.”

In response to the report, Corbyn issued a statement saying that “one antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”

Starmer suspended Corbyn from the party for downplaying the report, but the latter was reinstated 19 days later by a committee of the party’s governing body. Starmer removed the whip from Corbyn, meaning that he remained a member of the Labour Party but no longer represented it in Parliament and could not run as a Labour candidate at the next general election.

‘Final decision on candidates coming up’

Following U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to call for snap elections on July 4, Corbyn’s announcement that he would run as an independent against the Labour candidate prompted his full expulsion from the party.

The fate of other Labour parliamentarians accused of antisemitism is less clear.

Diane Abbott, who served as shadow home secretary under Corbyn, had the whip withdrawn in 2023 after she wrote a letter to The Observer saying that, unlike black people, Jews can be subject to prejudice but not racism.

“It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice,” Abbott, who is black, wrote in response to an article claiming that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people suffer from racism in the United Kingdom. (The government lists the Traveller people as an ethnicity alongside the Gypsy and Roma people.)

“But they are not all their lives subject to racism,” she said. “In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote.”

Abbott apologized, claiming that the letter was a draft that had been sent mistakenly.

Starmer on Friday said he had not yet made a decision about whether to restore the whip to Abbott.

“The final decision on candidates is coming up in a few days’ time,” he said. “Within a relatively short period of time, the final list of candidates will be decided and that will be a matter for the Labour Party’s national executive committee.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates