Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suspended amid anti-Semitism row within party
FORMER Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party and had his whip removed in a dramatic turn of events.
The move followed the MP’s comments today over a damning report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn, who had previously fought to become prime minister, said the number of complaints made during his tenure were ‘dramatically overstated’.
He then gave a press conference in which he repeated this and insisted ‘I'm not part of the problem’.
But hours later, Mr Corbyn was suspended.
A party spokesman said: ‘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.’
Mr Corbyn refused to believe he was part of the problem over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.
In a broadcast interview he said: ‘The numbers of cases in the public perception had become overstated.
‘The existence of the problem, I fully acknowledge, which is why I took action to end the problem in the party by introducing a process to get anti-Semites out of the party.’
In response to current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s comments about those who deny the seriousness of anti-Semitism being part of the problem, Mr Corbyn said: ‘No, I’m not part of the problem.’
Responding to the news of Mr Corbyn’s suspension, Conservative Party co-chairman Amanda Milling tweeted: ‘Many will be asking themselves why it took this long to act.
‘This morning (Sir Keir Starmer) failed to say seven times that he would take action against Corbyn and now he has been pushed to do so. Hardly leadership.’
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, said the ex-Labour chief’s suspension was ‘appropriate’ following the ‘damning’ anti-Semitism investigation.
‘But the Labour Party has much further to go to win back public trust,’ she said. ‘Don’t forget Keir Starmer was one of Corbyn’s trusted shadow ministers and his silence at the time was deafening.’
Councillor Donna Jones, Portsmouth’s Tory leader, agreed with Ms Dinenage and welcomed Mr Corbyn’s suspension.
Cllr Jones – whose own party was recently forced to suspend two of it city councillors amid racism claims – said: ‘This anti-Semitic behaviour emanated from the top of the party to bottom, including multiple counts of Labour HQ staff implicated.
‘The Labour Party is deeply divided and as their leader said today, they now need to change the culture that is deep rooted within the party.
‘To remove the culture is likely to lead to thousands of people quitting membership of the party and leading to a new left-wing political movement in the UK.’
She added: ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s position as a Labour Party member and as an MP, now appear untenable. He has proved repeatedly that he doesn’t represent the views of the majority of people in this country and his record as an MP is deeply concerning.’