By Danny Weller
Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer has told the media that Jeremy Corbyn will not be allowed to stand as Labour candidate at the next general election, after his suspension as an MP following anti-semitism accusations.
Starmer declared that the party had changed under his leadership, “from a party of dogma to a party of patriotism. From a party of protest to a party of public service.” He concluded “it will never go back,” and that it will never again be brought to its knees by racism or bigotry.”
This statement coincided with the closing of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s investigation of the party.
Corbyn responded to the statement on Twitter, saying: "Keir Starmer's statement about my future is a flagrant attack on the democratic rights of Islington North Labour Party members. It is up to them - not party leaders - to decide who their candidate should be.”
Corbyn went on to describe Starmer’s statement as "a divisive distraction from our overriding goal: to defeat the Conservative Party at the next general election".
Since his removal from the Labour Party in 2020, after stating that the allegations of anti-semitism were politically motivated, Corbyn has sat as an independent.
However former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, said he had "no intention of standing as an independent", in the next general election.
There has been an exodus of members from the Labour Party since Corbyn’s dismissal, with around 140,000 who joined Labour to support Corbyn leaving since Starmer became party leader.
In response to this loss of members, Starmer stated that those who didn’t support him could leave.
The left-wing presence within the Labour Party has crumbled, with a split occurring in the Socialist Campaign Group (SCG), a left-wing, democratic socialist grouping of the Labour Party's Members of Parliament.
Although the group originally voiced their support for Corbyn after his suspension, the majority of the 30 MPs have stated that opposition to party leadership is no longer feasible, and that pressure must be put on the leadership to implement more progressive policies.
Jeremy Corbyn’s support base in the Labour Party leadership has continued to evaporate with one of Corbyn’s closest allies, Diane Abbott declaring in February 2022, “I am a loyal supporter of Keir Starmer…”.
Corbyn has stated that "Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process, and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy."
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