Jeremy Corbyn today lashed out at Sir Keir Starmer over his “absurd and disgraceful” suspension from Labour. The veteran left-winger, who currently sits as an independent MP, also demanded he is allowed to stand for the party at the next general election.
Mr Corbyn, who led Labour from 2015 to 2020, had the whip removed in October 2020 over his response to a report into anti-Semitism in the party.
But in an interview with The News Agents podcast today, the 73-year-old insisted he should be allowed back before the country takes to the polls in 2024 or early 2025.
On the decision to suspend him from the Labour Party, the Islington North MP said: “It’s disgraceful. It is absurd and disgraceful.
“I’ve been a Labour MP since 1983. I’ve been elected every election since then, obviously, 10 times.
“And I’ve been a Labour Party member since I was 16 years old.
“And I was elected as a Labour MP by my very loyal constituents in Islington North. And I think the whole thing is absurd.”
Asked if he will stand at the next general election, Mr Corbyn said: “Labour Party members ought to be allowed to decide the future of their party.
“The Labour Party members ought to be allowed to decide who the Labour candidates are that after all, that is what Keir Starmer was elected leader to do.
“I get on very well with the Labour Party members locally. I support them locally. I work with the local council. I campaigned with the Labour Party locally.
“And I work as best as I can and as hard as I can to represent in my constituency.
“And I’m very happy doing that. And I would like to continue doing that.”
Mr Corbyn – who won his seat with a majority of 26,188 in 2019 – has not ruled out standing as an independent at the next general election in a move that would be a major headache for Sir Keir.
The hardliner repeatedly dodged the question during a grilling last month from ITV’s Robert Peston.
Mr Corbyn said: “I was elected as the Labour MP for Islington North in the last general election as I have been in the previous nine general election. So 10 times I’ve been elected.
“I think the people of Islington North and the Islington North Labour Party members should be able to make that choice.”
Pressed on if he would stand as an independent, Mr Corbyn branded it a “hypothetical question”.