UK opposition ex-leader will not rejoin party in parliament after antisemitism rift

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech following the pro-Brexit result of the UK's EU referendum vote in central London (File photo: AFP)

The former leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, will not be restored as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) after he undermined efforts to tackle anti-Semitism, the current Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Wednesday.

The decision is likely to deepen divisions in the main opposition party, some of whom remain fiercely loyal to Corbyn, 71, who led the party for nearly five years and re-energized left-wing supporters by pursuing a staunchly socialist agenda.

Corbyn was re-admitted to the party on Tuesday after being suspended for comments seen to be downplaying a report critical of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism complaints under his leadership.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

However, Starmer refused to re-admit him to the Parliamentary Labour Party, meaning he would not officially represent Labour in parliament and would continue to be classed as an “independent” MP.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in response to the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) report undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle antisemitism,” Starmer tweeted.

“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn,” he said, using a term of parliamentary procedure. “I will keep this situation under review.”

Corbyn’s suspension from the wider Labour Party was lifted after he released a statement saying he had not intended to exacerbate or prolong the pain that anti-Semitism accusations had caused the Jewish community.

“We must never tolerate anti-Semitism or belittle concerns about it,” his November 17 statement said.

Corbyn has not yet commented on Starmer’s decision.

Read more:

UK Labour suspends former leader Corbyn for downplaying anti-Semitism report

UK’s Boris Johnson ‘full of beans’ and will govern via Zoom after COVID-19 contact

Coronavirus: UK reports 24,962 new COVID cases, 168 deaths

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 18 November 2020 KSA 15:37 - GMT 12:37
Top