Keir Starmer has decided not to readmit his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP, arguing that he has undermined efforts to restore the party’s reputation in the Jewish community.
An NEC disciplinary panel lifted the suspension of Corbyn’s party membership on Tuesday. That decision was made after he issued a conciliatory statement “clarifying” controversial remarks he made when the damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report was published.
But in a strongly worded statement on Wednesday, Starmer said he would not be welcoming Corbyn back into the parliamentary Labour party (PLP).
“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,” Starmer said.
“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”
Corbyn’s supporters had insisted party rules meant he should be automatically readmitted, and the decision is likely to reignite the simmering civil war between Starmer and Labour leftwingers.
Starmer appeared to repudiate the NEC’s decision, which was made under disciplinary rules now being reviewed as part of the response to the EHRC report.
He said: “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.”