Starmer blocks Corbyn from standing for UK Labour at election

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UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer blocked his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn from standing as a candidate for the party at the next general election, as the opposition seeks to draw a line under the antisemitism scandals that have plagued its recent past.

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“Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour at the next general election,” Starmer said Wednesday morning, in a categorical rejection of the left-wing former leader’s stance on antisemitism.

Starmer was speaking after the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Britain’s equality regulator, said Labour had made the changes required to address breaches of the Equality Act during Corbyn’s tenure.

The commission had put the party on notice in 2020 that it could face legal action if it failed to change its culture after being found responsible for acts of harassment and discrimination against Jewish people. Corbyn, an MP since 1983, was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party in October 2020 after he criticized the initial EHRC report.

By ruling out the veteran former leader from defending his north London seat for Labour, Starmer is seeking to move his party on from its divisive recent past and firmly establish it as a government-in-waiting after 13 years of Conservative rule in Britain.

While Corbyn attracted hundreds of thousands of new members to the party with his left-wing policies, he also led Labour to its worst defeat since 1935 at the 2019 general election.

Corbyn, who served as Labour leader from 2015 to 2020, saw his time in the post defined by a failure to prevent antisemitism within the party.

“Today is an important moment in the history of the Labour Party,” Starmer said. “It has taken many, many months of hard work and humility to get here. It has meant rebuilding trust, not just with the Jewish community, but with all those who were rightly appalled by the culture of the party under the previous leadership,” he added.

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