Sir Keir Starmer and Jeremy Corbyn pictured in March 2019. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
Sir Keir Starmer will not restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn, his predecessor as leader of the party.The decision means that Corbyn, who had his membership suspended earlier this month after his response to an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into anti-Semitism within Labour, will sit as an independent MP in the House of Commons.Corbyn had his Labour membership reinstated on Tuesday by a panel of members of Labour’s National Executive Committee. But on Wednesday, ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions, Starmer wrote on Twitter that he was not restoring the whip to Corbyn.
“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,” he wrote. “In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”Corbyn is yet to respond to the decision. Many supporters of the former leader have expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement. Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott wrote on Twitter: “I fail to see how today's actions bring closure or unity,” and that the decision to remove the whip “now raises serious questions of due process. #IstandwithJeremyCorbyn.”John McDonnell, former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer called the decision “just plain wrong” and said it would “cause more division [and] disunity in [the] party.”Yesterday, Corbyn announced he was pleased to be reinstated as a member of the party. “I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity,” he said. “Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.”