Jeremy Corbyn knows what to do to get back into Labour, says Keir Starmer | Work

Keir Starmer has revealed that he hasn’t spoken to Jeremy Corbyn in over a year and said the ball was in his predecessor’s court when it came to his reinstatement to the parliamentary Labor party.

The Labor leader said they had not talked about anti-Semitism in the party since the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report in October 2020.

Corbyn was banned from Labor after he said anti-Semitism in the party was “exaggerated” after the report was published. His suspension was lifted by the party’s national executive committee after he issued a conciliatory statement clarifying his comments, but Starmer ordered Corbyn to withhold the Labor whip, effectively banning him from the parliamentary party.

Asked on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast if he would return the Labor whip to his predecessor, now sitting as an independent MP, before the next election, Starmer said: “It’s up to him… He knows what to do to push this forward. He wasn’t chosen to do that – that’s his choice.”

When asked whether it is plausible that Corbyn could not run for Labor, Starmer replied: “I don’t know, but at the moment he may be.”

The Labor leader’s refusal to take over Corbyn as MP sparked an outcry from left-wing parties, including Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Richard Burgon, who accused Starmer of endangering the party’s unity.

Corbyn has threatened legal action over Starmer’s decision. He believes that his suspension was treated unfairly and was the subject of political interference. Due to court backlogs, the case may take some time to be heard, even if it goes ahead.

In January, Corbyn lost a legal battle to force Labor to hand over documents his lawyers believed would help him demonstrate an agreement to take him back in full until the party was withdrawn after his suspension. Labor denied in court that such a deal existed.

Starmer, who has repeatedly pledged to crack down on anti-Semitism during his leadership campaign, also told Political Thinking that he hoped Luciana Berger, a Jewish MP who left the party for handling anti-Semitism issues during Corbyn’s tenure, would rejoin.

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