Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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The former Opposition leader was suspended earlier this month following his response to an investigation into anti-Semitism by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Responding to the report, Mr Corbyn claimed the scale of the anti-Semitism problem during his leadership was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.

Mr Corbyn was readmitted as a party member this week but his successor Sir Keir Starmer said he will not sit as a Labour MP in the House of Commons.

And now the party’s chief whip, Nick Brown, is said to have written to the former leader saying he will lose his whip for at least three months.

This will allow time for an investigation to take place into whether Mr Corbyn broke parliamentary party rules.

Corbyn to have whip suspended for three months

Corbyn to have whip suspended for three months (Image: Getty)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (Image: Getty)

A letter from left-aligned members of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) argued the whip should be returned to the formal leader.

A letter to the general secretary, David Evans, read: “The decision of the leader the following day to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn MP is an act of deliberate political interference in the handling of a complaint.

“It defies the decision of the NEC panel, is a matter of double jeopardy that flies in the face of natural justice, it undermines the rule book and it is precisely the type of action found to be unlawful indirect discrimination by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission [EHRC] report.”

This week, Sir Keir was warned he could face a leadership challenge if he continues his “vendetta” against the former Opposition leader.

READ MORE: Corbyn’s Labour and it’s ugly culture of anti-Jewish racism

Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer

Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer (Image: Getty)

Former Labour chairman Ian Lavery told the Commons People podcast: “It looks very much that this is a vengeful, divisive, provocative sort of move from Keir Starmer.

“This isn’t about uniting the party – it looks to me as if it’s a personal and political vendetta now from the new leader of the party to the previous leader of the party.”

Mr Lavery argued Labour needs to set out clearly who made the decision on Mr Corbyn’s suspension.

He said: “Who made the decision that Keir has got the overriding powers to overrule the national executive committee [Labour’s ruling body]?

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Labour had the worst election results since 1935

Labour had the worst election results since 1935 (Image: Express)

“I’m not being melodramatic but that’s a little bit like a tin pot dictatorship to me.

“We’ve got to have some form of democracy in the party and at this moment in time it doesn’t look like we have.”

Sir Keir said Mr Corbyn’s comments about the report has “undermined… our work in restoring trust” with the Jewish community.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sir Keir said: “I’m the leader of the Labour Party, but I’m also the leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Former Labour chairman Ian Lavery

Former Labour chairman Ian Lavery (Image: Getty)

“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.”

Mr Corbyn has refused to apologise for his remarks and has launched a legal battle in order to have his suspension lifted.

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown hit out at Mr Corbyn, insisting he makes a “full apology”.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Image: Getty)

He told Sky News: “He’s got to make a full apology and it’s got to be clear there are no ifs, no buts, no qualifications about his opposition to anti-Semitism.”

According to a recent YouGov poll found 50 percent of the public backed the decision to suspend Mr Corbyn.

Just 21 percent said Sir Keir was wrong to suspend him.

But the party is facing serious division as just 38 percent of Labour voters supported Sir Keir compared to 32 percent who do not.



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