Veteran Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge has suggested she would have left the party if Jeremy Corbyn had been reinstated as a Labour MP, and leader Sir Keir Starmer‘s choice to deny his predecessor the whip “did a lot to restore his credibility”. She said that Mr Corbyn is not a “victim” and she is “sick and tired” of talking about him. Ms Hodge noted she felt “rejected” by Labour when he was reinstated.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dame Hodge said: “It’s completely wrong for the party to let Mr Corbyn back in under a process that was shown to be broken and politically corrupted.
“I think it was completely right of Keir Starmer to deny him the whip.
“Jeremy Corbyn is not a Labour member of Parliament and that was what made it possible to make the decision that I wouldn’t have to leave the party.
“To be honest, on Monday night, I can’t describe to you the feeling of rejection that I experienced and I know that other Jewish members have experienced.
“I’m sick and tired of talking about Jeremy Corbyn, this isn’t about him.
“It’s about what’s happening to Jews in the Labour Party.
“He’s not the victim, we have been the victim of anti-Semitism.
“This feeling on Monday night of complete rejection is something I’ve been experiencing for a long time.”
The Labour leader said in a statement: “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 anti-Semitism.
“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”
Sir Keir’s decision was welcomed by those who hoped to draw a line under the Corbyn era, but prompted an angry response from members who remain loyal to the former leader.
Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the action was “just plain wrong” and would cause “more division and disunity in the party”.
Diane Abbott, who served as Shadow Home Secretary under Mr Corbyn, said removing the whip “raises serious questions of due process”.