The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation following the release of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism earlier today.
The party said that it had taken the decision following Mr Corbyn’s official response to the EHRC report, in which he stated “the scale of the problem” was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents“.
A Labour spokesman stated:
“In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
The decision was taken following a statement from the current leader Keir Starmer, in which he said that party members who claim that the problem had been “all exaggerated, or a factional attack” are “part of the problem” and should “be nowhere near the Labour Party“.
In response, Mr Corbyn stated that he would “strongly contest the political intervention” to suspend him:
I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me.
I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.
I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 29, 2020
The decision has huge ramifications for the future of the party – with a source on the party’s left reportedly claiming that it would “trigger a full-scale civil war“:
“Jeremy’s suspension has completely bust the myth of Keir as a unity candidate. It’ll trigger a full-scale civil war amongst the PLP and membership which will consume the Leader for the next four years and tank his chances at the next General Election”
More to follow…