UK Labour formally bans Corbyn from running as a candidate in elections

The Labor party in the UK has formally banned former MK leader Jeremy Corbyn from running as a candidate for the party in the next elections.

Corbyn, who faced claims of ignoring party anti-Semitism when he was chief executive, responded by rejecting the ruling and indicating he would run in the elections as an independent. Her branch of the Labor party in the Islington North constituency also rejected the ban.

Current Labor MK leader Keir Starmer brought a motion to the party’s National Executive Committee to ban Corbyn, which was approved 22-12. The NEC must approve all candidates on the party’s electoral slate. The motion did not mention anti-Semitism but noted that Labour’s chances of winning seats at the next election would be “significantly reduced” if Corbyn were one of its candidates.

“The NEC’s decision to block my candidacy for Islington North is a disgraceful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice,” Corbyn said in a statement.

“I will not be intimidated into silence,” he said. “I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society for the people of North Islington, and I have no intention of stopping now.”

The Labor party in the Islington North constituency (CLP) also criticized the ban on Corbyn, saying in a statement that voters deserve a free and fair vote on who will represent them. We therefore reject the NEC’s inappropriate interference in Islington North, which undermines our aim to defeat the Conservatives and work with our communities for social justice.”

Keir Starmer, leader of the United Kingdom’s Labor party, speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland January 19, 2023. (Markus Schreiber/AP)

There was more criticism from Jon Lansman, a Jewish political activist and founder of the organization Momentum, who played a central role in Corbyn’s election as Labor leader. He told Times Radio that Starmer was “behaving like some sort of Putin of the Labor party,” according to a report by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

Momentum issued a statement saying the ban was an “anti-democratic study,” the newspaper reported.

A landmark report in October 2020 by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission ruled that Labor under Corbyn had broken the law in its “unacceptable” handling of complaints about anti-Semitism.

During the period Jewish members and lawmakers left the party in droves and criticism of Israel and Zionism faced toxic anti-Semitism from Corbyn’s supporters.

The party suspended Corbyn in 2020 after he claimed his opponent had exaggerated the scale of anti-Semitism in Labor for “political reasons”. He has been a Labor representative in parliament since 1983 and now sits as an independent legislator.

Britain’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper, reporting on the ban against Corbyn, cited a recent poll which found that 55 per cent of likely voters believed Starmer was doing the right thing by pursuing a ban while 23% felt that it’s wrong.

Polls currently suggest Labor under Starmer is on course to wrest power from Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in an expected general election next year, after more than a decade of opposition.

Since 2019, Starmer has restored the party’s position after taking over from the far left Corbyn.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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