Jeremy Corbyn reinstated, but Sir Keir refuses to restore the whip.
Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from Labour on 29th October, over his response to a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which found the party had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints during Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
The Islington North MP was reinstated as a member of the party on Tuesday after a disciplinary panel agreed to reinstate his membership.
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.
Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 17, 2020
However, Wednesday morning Sir Keir Starmer announced he will not be restoring Mr Corbyn to the parliamentary party, meaning he must sit in Parliament as an independent rather than a Labour MP.
The Labour leader stated: “I’m the leader of the Labour Party, but I’m also the leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Adding: “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.”
Starmer’s decision has been welcomed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews president, Marie van der Zyl, who said Sir Keir had “taken the appropriate leadership decision”, adding Mr Corbyn had been “shameless and remorseless for what he has put the Jewish community through”.
Whilst many Labour MP’s have shown support, 28 and 4 peers have signed a statement calling for a “swift reversal”.
Dianne Abbott and John McDonnell have criticised the decision as Ms Abbott said withholding the whip “raises serious questions of due process.” Whilst Mr McDonnell described it as “just plain wrong” and would cause “more division and disunity in the party.”
Owen Jones was also angered by Sir Keir’s decision not to restore Mr Corbyn’s whip, Tweeting;
According to a YouGov Poll amongst Labour voters, opinion is much more divided. Some 38% support Starmer, but 32% think he made the wrong decision, the poll suggests. The poll also suggests 63% of people view the Labour party as divided.
Having the whip taken away is considered a serious punishment by a party. Sir Keir Starmer has advised he “will keep this situation under review.”