” Excluding Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP is wrong. Does Keir Starmer really think that Labour members would have voted for him as leader if they knew that within months he would do this? This is no way to unite the party.”Diane Abbott MP
By the Labour Outlook Volunteer Team
The movement for restoring the whip to Jeremy Corbyn is gathering momentum, with mounting pressure from across different sections of the Labour Party and Trade Union movement, amid reports that the former Labour leader’s team have instigated legal proceedings.
Socialist Campaign Group MPs have continued to support Corbyn, with a letter signed by 32 members of the group calling for the whip to be reinstated. Diane Abbott summed up the mood of millions of people across the country when she said said ‘excluding Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP is wrong. Does Keir Starmer really think that Labour members would have voted for him as leader if they knew that within months he would do this? This is no way to unite the party’.
In a series of tweets Young Labour – the party’s youth wing – expressed their support for Corbyn, saying ‘thousands of young people were inspired to join and support our movement by Jeremy Corbyn, in a world with few politicians like him. The removal of the whip despite the lifting of Jeremy’s suspension is a betrayal of them and blatant factional interference in disciplinary matters’.
The removal of the whip comes after a decision by a National Executive Committee disciplinary committee to lift Coryn’s suspension. In a letter to David Evans, Labour’s General Secretary, 14 NEC members urged him to admonish Starmer for the whip removal, claiming that after the NEC disciplinary procedure it constituted a ‘matter of double jeopardy’, ‘an act of deliberate political interference in the handling of a complaint’ and that it ‘undermines the party rulebook’.
Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey, joined them in condemnation, saying ‘this is a vindictive and vengeful action which despoils Party democracy and due process alike and amounts to overruling the unanimous decision of the NEC panel yesterday to readmit Jeremy Corbyn to the Party’.
Similarly, in a statement entitled ‘Who exactly are Labour representing?’ Ian Hodson, National President of the Baker’s and Allied Food Workers Union, said the whip withdrawal ‘was a disgraceful act that has only served to anger and disillusion a large number of party members and activists’.
This certainly rings true in the wider party, with 100s of branches and Constituency Labour Party’s (being mapped on Twitter here) across the country continuing to pass motions – more often than not with large majorities and despite Party HQ’s desperate attempts to stop them being discussed – calling for Corbyn’s readmittance to the PLP.
Yesterday, 27 members of the Executive Committee of Corbyn’s own constituency party, Islington North, published an open letter to Starmer urging him ‘to lead the Party in a way that will allow it to devote its entire energies and resources to attacking & defeating this corrupt and incompetent Tory administration and to render it fit for the task of winning power and providing the capable and forward looking government the country is crying out for’.
Additionally, over 43,000 people have now signed the petition calling on Starmer to restore the whip.
It’s vital we continue to campaign for Jeremy Corbyn to have the whip restored – starting with the rally jointly organised by Arise and Momentum this Saturday.