Jeremy Corbyn was temporarily expelled from the party in October 2020 after claiming allegations of antisemitism within the party were exaggerated. This was inconsistent with the findings of the EHRC. This human rights watchdog concluded in a 130-page report in 2020 that the party leadership had done little to address anti-Semitism within the party.
Corbyn was later allowed to join the party, but did not return to the Labor Party. For this reason he still sits on the opposition benches in the House of Commons as an independent candidate.
The 73-year-old socialist, who was party leader between 2015 and 2020, had hoped to stand for Labor on behalf of Islington-North, the north London constituency he has represented by a large majority since 1983. Corbyn is angry at the decision. “Keir Starmer’s failure to deliver on his promise to respect the rights of party members distorts the party’s democratic foundations,” he said in a statement. One of his associates, John Lansman, compared Starmer to “a kind of Vladimir Putin from the Labor Party”.
Corbyn has already hinted that he will run as an independent candidate in the next election. There is a good chance he will retain his seat in that capacity. In the last parliamentary elections, at the end of 2019, he won more than 64% of the vote. Elsewhere in the country, his Labor Party fared less favorably. The opposition party won only 202 seats out of 651, the lowest since 1935. This disappointing result led to Corbyn’s downfall, with the moderate Starmer chosen as his successor. The Labor Party is now leading in the opinion polls.
The Corbyn case stirs memories of the feud between reformer Tony Blair and left-wing rebel Ken Livingstone in the late 1990s. At the time, Blair banned Livingstone from running for mayor of London on behalf of the Labor Party. After that, “Red Ken” decided to run as an independent candidate. He won handily and was re-elected in 2004. There are persistent rumors that Corbyn also intends to put himself forward as a challenger to Labor Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in 2024.
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