UK Labour Leader Bans Corbyn as Party Candidate

Keir Starmer’s announcement this week is the most recent blow in the party’s long campaign against Corbyn, a champion of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

Keir Starmer, at left, in December 2019 with Jeremy Corbyn, then party leader. (Jeremy Corbyn, Flickr)

By Peoples Dispatch

Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer this week banned long-time Parliament member and leftist Jeremy Corbyn from ever running again as a Labour Party candidate.

Corbyn argued that Starmer’s move is an attack on democracy, stating, “it is up to [voters]—not party leaders—to decide who their candidate should be.”

In a Feb. 15 speech announcing Corbyn’s ban from the party, Starmer said, “the Labour Party is unrecognizable from 2019 and it will never go back.”

Starmer is referring to the year that Corbyn ran for prime minister as a Labour Party candidate. “If you don’t like that, if you don’t like the changes we’ve made, I say the door is open and you can leave,” Starmer told anyone who would be critical of the move.

“Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process, and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy,” Corbyn responded in his statement.

Starmer justified his move by referencing accusations of anti-Semitism made against the Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership. He praised a decision made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which had recently lifted Labour out of special measures it instituted in late 2020 after making accusations of anti-Semitism.

Following EHRC’s accusations, which Corbyn challenged, he was suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation.

Starmer’s most recent ban on Corbyn is the most recent blow of the long campaign against him. Many believe that the accusations of anti-Semitism are a thin cover for pushing out anyone who is critical of Israel, supportive of the Palestinian struggle for liberation, or has any socialist leanings.

[Related: Anti-Semitism Bandwagon Resumes Against Corbyn]

According to research by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), under Starmer’s leadership, Jewish members of the Labour Party are, on average, 37 percent more likely to be investigated for anti-Semitism than non-Jewish members.

The Labour Party also ejected three prominent Jewish members last year. “It is abhorrent for the Labour Party to effectively designate progressive or socialist Jewish political traditions as antisemitic, with the EHRC’s apparent stamp of approval,” wrote JVL in a statement.

This article is from Peoples Dispatch.

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23 comments for “UK Labour Leader Bans Corbyn as Party Candidate

  1. RR
    February 19, 2023 at 08:03

    Labour governments have carried out every anti-working-class action which the Tories have gone in for: they have supported wars; initiated the British atom bomb; sent in troops to smash strikes; established the vicious Special Patrol Group and set them on the picket lines at Grunwick; passed racist immigration laws; imposed “monetarist” expenditure cuts leading to the closure of hospitals and other vitally needed services. They have left power and, above all, the ownership and control of the means of wealth production and distribution in the hands of a parasitic capitalist minority. The record of Labour governments is one of total subservience to the needs of capital — of the rich and powerful and privileged — against the material interests of the class which produces, but does not possess.

    And Corbyn would not have been any different. JC would not have saved us. His pledges amounted to nothing more than another spin on the reformist misery-go-round. They included expanding jobs and a million new homes being built over five years. Yet when did a Labour government ever leave office with unemployment lower than when it started? After World War II (Labour has supported all wars since WWI – so much for the peaceful foreign policy pledge!) Bevan promised to solve the housing problem….Other pious pledges included ‘security at work’ (recall the use of troops as strike breakers against the dockworkers) and a secure NHS. Labour Minister Bevan felt more secure with his own private physician, and with the introduction of charges for dental and optical services he resigned. Tuition fees? That was Labour too. The odds on them being reversed were never good. The climate change pledge? That was more hot air. Free transport? No, nothing more than the possibility of an expanded publically-controlled bus network.

  2. lester
    February 18, 2023 at 16:53

    Well, well, the ancient tradition of Jews criticizing other Jews, is now “anti-semitic”!

  3. WillD
    February 17, 2023 at 23:02

    A bad move that will alienate a lot of Labour supporters, I think, although in the current climate of disillusionment with the Tory government it may not impact the next election enough to prevent Starmer from becoming prime minister.

    Starmer’s advisers have no doubt considered the timing of this move. It also signals that the old Labour party has been finally killed off.

    The question now is what will Corbyn, and his many supporters, do now. As commenters here have suggested, it is time for him to form a new party. Britain certainly needs a new political party, one that isn’t sold out and controlled by the globalists and neoliberals, one that actually wants to restore the country.

  4. Edward Q
    February 17, 2023 at 16:38

    The Star Chamber returns to Britain.

    With the Tory party in trouble, a Labour prime minister may soon be a reality. A genuine leftist like Corbyn can not be given access to such power and needs to be neutralized; Britain is aping the U.S. “Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum” system where the two parties offer a mirage of choice but little meaningful substance. Britain also seems to have a “taxation without representation” system where the public has little say in the government policies.

    • Edward Q
      February 17, 2023 at 16:49

      I think the basic issue here is, “What can Corbyn do about this?” Is Starmer’s ban legal? Can the Labour leader act like a dictator? Are there any checks and balances? Is the British political system changing, or has it always been like this?

      There does seem to be an antagonism between the British public and the political establishment. That country is in an economic crisis. What will happen when the public is in economic trouble, the government is failing across the board, and the political establishment is closing the door to reform?

  5. Chris Jonsson
    February 17, 2023 at 15:02

    I hope Corbyn stands up for himself this time.

    Keir Starmer has no idea what democracy is.

    • Tim N
      February 18, 2023 at 10:24

      Corbyn is useless. He went along with the antisemitic lies hurled at him, caved on the Ukraine War in short order, and generally is quiet no matter what outrageous lie or calumny is said about him and the Left. He’s slightly to the left of his mirror image, Bernie Sanders, and about as effective as a leftist leader.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    February 17, 2023 at 14:47

    The liberal class on both sides of the pond have turned to fascism to maintain control. Corbyn should face reality about the Labor party. He no longer belongs there.

  7. dejudge
    February 17, 2023 at 12:10

    Brit politics are usually portrayed in US media as a bit weird and quirky in that special and endearing and atavistic British way, what with the increasingly out-of-control ‘Truman Show” of the monarchy and parliamentarians who in session are expected to yell at each other with a particular sort of prescribed wit and decorum–and all those factions!

    It is apparent that Brits view US politics with similar sentiments, though as unruly offspring who, having had the cleverness to swipe the most valued of the family jewels, the rings of power, are still loved in a begrudging way, while maintaining an iron grip on their remnants of the more fungible gemstones of finance by weaponization of the family secrets.

    Underneath all the cultural epigenetics the shared cultural genome is becoming increasingly obvious.

  8. bobbin
    February 17, 2023 at 11:15

    “Democracy!…We don’t need no stinking democracy!”

  9. February 17, 2023 at 10:13

    Talk about democracy as pure fiction, not surprising in the land that purports to champion freedom of expression but jails Julian Assange.

  10. Tom
    February 17, 2023 at 08:31

    Jeremy Corbin has been ousted out of the labour party.
    Now he can start his own party. No one can blame him for that, since they kicked him out. Since the membership of labour had doubled under him, this new party might have more menbers than the labour party by next election. Keir Starmer just told them to leave anyway. Unlike the labour party he can offer local affiliations the right to choose a delegate of their peers instead of sending someone from London, to be the candidate of some rural town in northern England. He can do all the stuff right that labour has done wrong for the last 30 years. There is no victory in beating the Torys, just to hand over power to Keir Starmer.

    • peter tusinski
      February 17, 2023 at 17:03

      Well said Tom, it seem seems democracy in the entire west has been infected with a virulent type of fascism.

    • Tim N
      February 18, 2023 at 10:29

      I’ll be shocked if Corbyn starts his own party. He’s a loyal toady to Labour to the end. He needs to stand up and tell the truth about the Party– it’s pro-war, anti-labor, and in the tank for the fascists in Israel (and the US). He will not do these things. He will grovel at the feet of Sir Kier. I’ll be here straight away to apologize if Corbyn proves me wrong.

  11. Francis Lee
    February 17, 2023 at 04:38

    The following was taken from a speech given by the Labour party to its then leader, James Callaghan, at the Blackpool Conference in 1976. It followed.

    ”We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession, and increase employ­ment by cutting taxes and boosting Government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and that in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of infla­tion into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step. Higher inflation followed by higher unemployment. We have just escaped from the highest rate of inflation this country has known; we have not yet escaped from the consequences: high unemployment.”

    Yes, all very well but words are cheap. This was in fact the pivotal political moment in the decline of social-democracy, at least in the West. The scene was set for the likes of Thatcher and Regan.

    It was counter-revolution of course and an abject political failure and surrender to the forces of reaction which have successfully marginalised the new order. The new leadership was established as the Tony Blair centrist and his counterpart to the US Democratic which arrived under the aegis of Bill Clinton. The ideological gangrene then spread to Europe with the political demise of the (SPD-Germany) (Parti-Socialist-France) (Podemos-Spain) (Syriza-Greece). A centrist blob now dominates the political discourse in the West and it won’t change any time soon.

  12. Nat Super
    February 16, 2023 at 20:37

    Will he Finaaaaaaalllllly Leave and start his own Party?

    • Red Star
      February 17, 2023 at 08:23

      And not just him – the members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs (the actual left-wing MPs, currently 35 members) should by now have come to the conclusion that there is no future within Labour for a socialist agenda. Many of them will most likely suffer the same fate as Corbyn before the next election – barred from standing, in favour of a Starmer loyalist being parachuted in, whether the constituency wants it or not.

      So we have a possible new socialist party with 35 MPs, plus Corbyn and maybe others. Then there are local councillors across the UK who would switch to the new party.

      And don’t forget all those ex-Labour members (estimated at 200,000 last year) who have left the party since Starmer took over as leader. Many of them were the activists who did the leg-work for Labour during the Corbyn era. Betrayed by Starmer, they’ll work twice as hard for a new party.

      And of course the trade unions that currently fund Labour. So far only the Bakers union has gone so far as to disaffiliate from Labour, though I believe one or two others have reduced funding. If they were to all disaffiliate from Labour and switch funding to a new party….

      So obviously the scope for a new, socialist party is. What is lacking is the catalyst. If Corbyn was to announce a new party today, I’d bet it’d have at least 100,000 members tomorrow. So why doesn’t he ?

      Incidentally, I wouldn’t have Corbyn as actual leader of any new party – he’s still too much of a target for the Esthablishment and MSM. Better perhaps to have someone like current left-wing Labour MP Dawn Butler, who, being black and female, would be able to counter-claim that the Esthablishment and MSM are both racist and misogynistic… which of course they are, but won’t want to appear to be.

      Of course all this is hypothetical… unless Corbyn or someone has the guts to take the first step, it won’t happen.

    • Tim N
      February 18, 2023 at 10:30


  13. TRogers
    February 16, 2023 at 20:09

    This looks to me like another move in the crushing censorship being imposed by the Zionist empire.

    • Valerie
      February 17, 2023 at 14:44

      With Starmer at the British helm:


  14. JonnyJames
    February 16, 2023 at 19:17

    Corbyn is unacceptable to (new) Labour, which is now anti-labour, right-wing, warmongering, Russophobic, and pro-Israeli Apartheid. Democracy be damned, the preferences of the British public don’t matter. Like the US, the UK only has right-wing, and extreme right-wing parties to “choose” from. The illusion of choice and slick PR keeps many in denial.

    So when they talk about “democracy” and “autocracy” we can all have a good contemptuous laugh.

    • Red Star
      February 17, 2023 at 08:29

      Starmer has just been paying his respects in Kiev, where he assured Zelensky that “a future Labour government would ensure the defence needs of Ukraine continued to be met.”

      What that really means is : “a future Labour government would ensure the needs of the US Empire continued to be met.”

      Business as usual…. with the emphasis on business.

    • Michael O Malloy
      February 17, 2023 at 10:43

      Spot on!

Comments are closed.