Keir Starmer hits back at Jeremy Corbyn allies plot to reinstate former leader

Kay Burley grills Anneliese Dodds on Jeremy Corbyn

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Radical left-wing MPs and admirers of the Islington North MP are demanding he have the Parliamentary whip reinstated immediately. They want a meeting of Labour’s using National Executive Committee (NEC) to today reverse the decision taken by Sir Keir 15 months ago.

Since November 2020 Mr Corbyn has been forced to sit as an independent in the Commons.

Sir Keir took the firm decision to boot out his predecessor after the veteran MP said the scale of anti-Semitism within Labour had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents.

While he was originally suspended as a Labour member, he was re-admitted to the party after issuing a clarifying statement.

But the leadership insists it will not allow him to sit as a Labour MP until a full apology is issued.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “It’s been made very clear to Jeremy Corbyn what he must do to move this forward.

“That hasn’t changed, it’s in his hands.”

If the whip is not restored before the next election he will not be allowed to contest his seat, which he has held since 1983, as a Labour MP.

The NEC is made up of representatives from the shadow cabinet, wider parliamentary party, trade unions, and Labour members.

All have a vote on matters discussed at NEC meetings, with allies of Mr Corbyn pushing for a vote on his place in the party to take place today.

Long-time friend Diane Abbott wrote on social media: “Jeremy Corbyn is a parliamentarian and a member of the Labour party.

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“Restoration of the Labour whip in Parliament should always have been a formality.

“Hope the NEC will put this right today.”

She accompanied her message with the hashtag “IStandWithJeremyCorbyn”.

East Leeds MP Richard Burgon, who served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, said ahead of the meeting: “Today’s NEC needs to do the right thing and back restoring the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

“You can’t say the Labour Party should be a broad church and then not restore the whip to a former Party Leader.”

Meanwhile, the official twitter account of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs said: “Denying the whip to a former Labour leader – readmitted to the Party by the NEC – was always wrong.

“It’s especially so after rolling out the red carpet for a defecting Tory MP.”

Anger among allies of Mr Corbyn intensified last Wednesday when the Conservative MP for Bury South, Christian Wakefield, switched sides and joined Labour.

Mr Corbyn’s office has been contacted for comment.

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