Jeremy Corbyn accuses Labour of ‘shameful attack’ after he is blocked from standing for party

Labour’s governing body has voted to ban Jeremy Corbyn from standing as a candidate for the party at the next general election.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) voted 22 to 12 to approve a motion from Sir Keir Starmer to prevent his predecessor from being endorsed.

It means it is now down to Mr Corbyn to decide whether to run as an independent candidate in the Islington North seat he has represented for the past 40 years.

Politics live: All eyes on Jeremy Corbyn’s next move

Such a move could cause a distracting challenge for Sir Keir at the next election, with the veteran MP retaining significant support among constituents.

Mr Corbyn accused Sir Keir of “undermining the party’s internal democracy” ahead of the vote, but was ambiguous about his future.

Approached by Sky News before a rally outside parliament protesting against the government’s illegal immigration bill on Monday, Mr Corbyn said he was not giving interviews and appeared agitated when asked what he will do next.

More on Jeremy Corbyn

In a statement on Monday, he said Sir Keir had “broken his commitment to respect the rights of Labour members and denigrated the democratic foundations of our party”.

He did not say if he would run at the next election but said of those who support him: “Our message is clear: we are not going anywhere. Neither is our determination to stand up for a better world.”

Sir Keir’s motion said Mr Corbyn “will not be endorsed by the NEC as a candidate on behalf of the Labour Party at the next general election”.

It cited the dismal defeat Mr Corbyn led Labour to as leader in the 2019 general election in arguing his candidacy should be blocked.

Labour’s chances of winning the next election and securing a majority in the Commons would be “significantly diminished” if Mr Corbyn was endorsed, the motion argued.

‘Dark day for democracy’

The move will not be welcomed in all wings of the parliamentary Labour Party, where Mr Corbyn retains the support of those aligned with the Socialist Campaign Group.

Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said that it should be up to Mr Corbyn’s local party to decide – something which Islington North members have also said.

Nadia Whittome, who has served on Sir Keir’s frontbench, described the motion as “divisive, an attack on party democracy and a distraction”.

And Momentum, the left-wing grassroots group set up in the wake of Mr Corbyn’s leadership victory, called it a “dark day for democracy”.

However Ed Miliband, a former Labour leader himself who is now on the shadow frontbench, insisted that the background to the row was well known and that there was “no mystery” to why the proposal had been made.

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Sky News asked Jeremy Corbyn about his future

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the parliamentary party in October 2020 over his reaction to a damning report into how antisemitism complaints were handled under his leadership.

The former Labour leader has been sitting in the Commons as an independent since then, but he is still a member of the wider Labour party.

Sir Keir confirmed last month that he would not allow Mr Corbyn to stand again for Labour as he insisted the party has undergone a transformation since he took over.

It came after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) lifted the party out of two years of special measures over its failings on antisemitism under Mr Corbyn.


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