Jeremy Corbyn says that Labour members have “put themselves at considerable political risk” for raising concerns regarding his suspension.
During a Labour virtual meeting on Sunday night addressing security and military spending, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn expressed his views on the party’s decision to ban debates regarding his suspension.
Mr Corbyn was suspended for comments he made following the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report on anti-Semitism in Labour.
The meeting was chaired by Richard Burgon, a Socialist Labour MP for Leeds East. In his introduction, he referred to Mr Corbyn as an “inspirational politician” and an “anti-racist”, before saying he wanted to see Jeremy as Prime Minister now.
In Mr Corbyn’s opening speech in the Zoom meeting, he accused Sir Keir of attempting to silence the party’s members and said a ban on discussing the issue was “political”.
He said: “If I could open by just saying a huge thank you to the many many people all over the country who have sent in messages and letters of support in my situation. They have put themselves at considerable political risk by raising the issue of my suspension, and that of others, from the Labour Party at their local Labour Party meetings.”
He added: “It really is a political issue about our right to be able to speak, our right to be able to change policy or development policy within our party, and so thank you very very much for all your support on this.”
Sir Keir Starmer has reinstated Mr Corbyn’s membership of the Labour Party but has withheld the whip in the House of Commons, meaning that he must sit in the House as an independent MP. Sir Keir has advised he will continue to review the situation and has not ruled out restoring it down the line.
David Evans, Labour’s General Secretary, had written to all Constituency Labour Parties saying all discussions and debates on Mr Corbyn’s position within the party were banned to ensure Labour Party meetings were a “welcoming space” for Jewish members.