Labour: Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as candidate at next general election, Keir Starmer confirms

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The news about Jeremy Corbyn comes after the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it had finished monitoring Labour over its law-breaking handling of antisemitism under the former leader

Former Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour Party candidate at the next general election, the party has confirmed.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer revealed the move at a conference on Wednesday morning, after the Equality and Human Rights Commission announced it had concluded its monitoring of the Labour Party. The watchdog said Labour had made the changes demanded, after its law-breaking handling of antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn.

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Asked by reporters whether he could say whether or not Corbyn - his predecessor as leader - would stand for the party at the next election, Starmer said: “Let me be very clear about that - Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour at the next general election, as a Labour Party candidate”.

“What I said about the party changing, I meant, and we are not going back, and that is why Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election,” he said.

Corbyn was the first of a number of MPs to be suspended under Starmer’s rule, over his response to a report into antisemitism within Labour. Corbyn acknowledged it as an issue, but said it had also been “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”.

He has served as the Labour Mp for Islington North since 1983, but currently sits as an independent after having the whip removed in October 2020. Corbyn called the ban on him running as a Labour candidate at the next general election a “flagrant attack” on democracy.

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Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour Party candidate in the next general election, the party has confirmed (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images).Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour Party candidate in the next general election, the party has confirmed (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images).
Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour Party candidate in the next general election, the party has confirmed (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images). | Getty Images

Starmer said antisemitism was “an evil”, and “no political party that cultivates it deserves to hold power”.

“It’s taken many, many months of hard work and humility to get here,” he said. “It’s meant rebuilding trust, not just with the Jewish community but with all those who were rightly appalled by the culture of the party and the previous leadership.”

“When I became leader, I said I would turn Labour around and give it back to the British people, and the most important and urgent part of that was tearing out antisemitism by its roots.”

Starmer said he had “challenged” Corbyn “both in the shadow cabinet and publicly” on antisemitism. “It’s absolutely clear that the Labour Party lost its way and that’s why I knew that my first duty as leader of the Labour Party was to change the Labour Party and to tear antisemitism out. That’s why on my acceptance speech, I made an apology on behalf of the Labour Party and made that my commitment.”

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Corbyn has issued a scathing response to Starmer barring him from standing as a Labour candidate at the next general election. The Islington North MP said: “This is a divisive distraction from our overriding goal: to defeat the Conservative Party.”

Former MP Claudia Webbe was expelled from the party in November 2021 after she was found guilty of harassment and given a suspended sentence. Five other Labour MPs had since lost the party whip, including Neil Coyle who reportedly made racist remarks to a journalist in a Westminster bar, and Rupa Huq, after she referred to then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng as “superficially black” at a Labour conference fringe event.

Christina Rees was suspended in October over allegations of bullying, while former Labour whips Nick Brown and Conor McGinn were both suspended pending investigations into complaints of an unknown nature.

MPs from across the aisle were also facing scrutiny, with Julian Knight suspended from the Conservative Party after a police complaint in December. He was the fourth from to have the whip suspended last year. There have been calls for Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to be suspended as well, while claims he bullied staff are investigated.

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