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Keir Starmer has revealed he had not spoken to Jeremy Corbyn for over a year and said the ball was in his predecessor’s court when it came to his reinstatement in the Parliamentary Labor Party.

The Labor leader said they had not spoken since the publication of the Committee for Equality and Human Rights report on anti-Semitism in the party in October 2020.

Corbyn was suspended from Labor after saying anti-Semitism within the party was “exaggerated” following the publication of the report. His suspension was lifted by the party’s national executive committee after issuing a conciliatory statement clarifying his remarks, but Starmer ordered the Labor whip removed from Corbyn, effectively suspending him from the parliamentary party.

Asked whether the BBC’s political thought podcast would return the Labor whip to his predecessor, who now sits as an independent MP, ahead of the next election, Starmer said: “It’s up to him … knows what he needs to do to make this happen, he didn’t choose to do it, it’s his choice.

When asked if it was likely Corbyn could not run for the Labor candidate, Starmer replied: “I don’t know, but at the moment it may be.”

The Labor leader’s refusal to readmit Corbyn as an MP sparked a furious backlash from leftists, including Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Richard Burgon, who accused Starmer of compromising party unity.

Corbyn has threatened legal action against Starmer’s decision. He believes his suspension was treated unfairly and was subject to political interference. The backlog of courts could mean that it may take some time for the case to be heard, even if it proceeds.

In January, Corbyn lost a legal fight to force Labor to hand over documents which his lawyers said would help show that a full readmission agreement into the party after his suspension had been reneged on. Labor denied in court the existence of such an agreement.

Starmer, who has repeatedly promised during his leadership campaign to fight anti-Semitism, also told Political Thinking that he hoped Luciana Berger, a Jewish MP who left the party for her handling of the cases. anti-Semitism during Corbyn’s tenure, would like to join him.


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