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Starmer: Corbyn’s days as Labour MP over after refusal to call Hamas terrorists

17 Nov 2023 4 minute read
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo James Speakman PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer said Jeremy Corbyn’s “days as a Labour MP are over” as he spoke of his shock that the former party leader repeatedly refused to call Hamas a terrorist organisation.

The Opposition leader said his predecessor, who was stripped of the party whip in 2020, “won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election”.

Mr Corbyn was repeatedly asked on Talk TV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored programme this week whether he thought Hamas was a terror group.

But the Islington North MP, an outspoken critic of Israel, continually avoided the question and attempted to move the conversation on.

Palestinian Hamas militants were responsible for the October 7 assault on Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 others hostage in raids that have sparked a bloody war in the Middle East.

The Gaza rulers are proscribed as a terror group in the UK and support for them is banned.

Sir Keir, asked on The News Agents podcast whether Mr Corbyn’s interview with Morgan would preclude him from standing for Labour again, said: “He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election.

“His days as a Labour MP are over. We have a changed party.”

Labour whip

Mr Corbyn had the Labour whip in Parliament removed in October 2020 over his response to the equalities watchdog report on antisemitism in the party during his tenure as leader.

He sits as an Independent MP but remains a Labour member.

Sir Keir — who served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet — said he was “taken aback and shocked” by the left-wing stalwart’s refusal to describe Hamas as a terror outfit.

“It reaffirmed in me why it is so important to me and to this changed Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn does not sit as a Labour MP and will not be a candidate at the next election for the Labour Party,” he continued.

“That is how far we have changed as the Labour Party.”

Sir Keir faced a bruising week on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war, suffering a major rebellion in the Commons against the party’s position of calling for pauses in the violence but not going so far as to demand a ceasefire.

He had put Labour MPs on a three-line whip not to vote for a Scottish National Party (SNP) motion calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

But 56 of his lawmakers defied the order, with 10 shadow ministers and parliamentary aides among them. The frontbenchers quit or were sacked as a result.

Sir Keir said there is “no unconditional support for Israel” as it fights back against Hamas, and urged that civilians and hospitals “must be protected”, with international law upheld.

MPs on both sides of the ceasefire debate have faced abuse since Wednesday’s Commons vote.

Shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens had her constituency office vandalised after abstaining on the Gaza vote, while Naz Shah, who quit the front bench to support a ceasefire, said she has received “Islamophobic hatred”.

Intense pressure 

Sir Keir said there had been “intense pressure” on parliamentarians this week as he spoke about his concerns for his family if he becomes prime minister after the next election.

The former director of public prosecutions said he was “not daunted” by the prospect of entering Downing Street but that “my only concern is about my family”.

In Friday’s podcast episode, he said: “I’ve always been concerned about them. I’ve got a wife who has her own life and I need to ensure that she can live her life in the way that she wants to.

“I’ve got two children: I’ve got a 15-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl.

“And my biggest concern — about the only concern I have going forward — is asking myself over and over again, particularly at the moment, how do I protect them as we go into this?”


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Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago

And hopefully Starmer’s days as a Labour Party leader are over after his refusal to call the Israeli government terrorists.
How scummy these politicians be

Slacker
Slacker
6 months ago

How embarrassing for Starmer then, when the Tory Lite clone candidate he parachutes in for the next election gets battered by Corbyn standing as an independent.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  Slacker

I, and I’m sure I won’t be alone, will be traveling to Islington on a regular basis to canvas for Jeremy Corbyn to help him retain the seat when the next general election takes place.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
6 months ago

What is he on about?? He dismissed Corbyn from Labour ages ago. Now perhaps Starmer should go for not condemning Israel’s indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinian Women and children on the pretext of ‘removing Hamas’! Israel’s Government could easily destroy Hamas without murdering women and kids. It is a deliberate act of sabotage to remove Palestine from the little remaining territory it still has!

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 months ago

I agree, Mr starmer has reneged on every issue on which he became leader of labour and he has expelled more Jewish members than any leader before him (for antisemitism – left-wing / socialist, so “the wrong type of Jew”)!

Hamas’s attack on 7/10 are rightly condemned, but under international law Palestinians have the right to resist when living under occupation just as ukraine has the right to resist the russian invasion.

What israel is doing bears no resemblance to defence, it has become genocidal revenge to eradicate every last Palestinian from Palestine!

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

Anyone who saw that interview would know that Corbyn did, several times condemn the actions of Hamas. Whilst it’s true that Corbyn didn’t out and out condemn Hamas as terrorist, he really didn’t need to, as he’d stressed all along his condemnation of their actions. I suspect from the way he was arguing that he may have relented had Morgan accepted that the Israeli state is equally terrorist in its approach towards Palestinian interests. So yes, sure, Corbyn could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had come out and explicitly condemned Hamas as a terrorist organisation, but… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I would suggest that Jeremy Corbyn has principles and he won’t be swayed from them.

It also means he can’t be bought and the possibility of him being prime minister so scared “the establishment” that every effort was taken to prevent him doing so and unfortunately for us 99% it worked!

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Completely agree. What I have extreme difficulty getting my head around is how people could prefer a total chancer and charlatan like Johnson over Corbyn. Even if he was absolutely crap he’d have been hard pressed to be worse than Johnson, or any of those who have succeeded him.

Unfortunately often when commenting to this effect there are the inevitable morons parroting the nonsense peddled by the establishment. Whatever happened to independent thinking?

Whatever his shortcomings, I think he’s far and away a better politician than Starmer who has completely reneged on the promises he made before becoming leader.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago

Er think that headline should be “socialists not welcome in Labour party”

CapM
CapM
6 months ago

Corbyn is not the brightest light on the Xmas tree and has an inflated view of his abilities. He knows how Piers Morgan interviews, he chose to appear on his show and he was deluded enough to think that he could manage being interviewed by him. Being thick and arrogant doesn’t preclude politicians from achieving high office but Corbyn also lacks the necessary political nous. He allowed Johnson to goad him into voting for a general election by Johnson’s school playground tactic of calling him a scared. It would have been shrewd for him to at least acknowledge that Hamas… Read more »

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