Jeremy Corbyn has said Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to bar him from standing as a Labour candidate at the next election is a “flagrant attack” on democracy.
Former Labour leader Mr Corbyn, who currently sits as an independent MP, hit out at his successor, describing the move as a “divisive distraction from our overriding goal: to defeat the Conservative Party”.
It comes after Sir Keir for the first time unequivocally barred Mr Corbyn from standing as a Labour candidate at the next general election.
The Labour leader also welcomed the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) decision to lift the party out of two years of special measures over its past failings on antisemitism.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Islington North MP Mr Corbyn said any attempt to block his candidacy for the seat was “denial of due process”.
He said: “Ever since I was elected as a Labour MP 40 years ago, I have fought on behalf of my community for a more equal, caring and peaceful society. Day-in day-out, I am focused on the most important issues facing people in Islington North: poverty, rising rents, the healthcare crisis, the safety of refugees, and the fate of our planet.
“Keir Starmer’s statement about my future is a flagrant attack on the democratic rights of Islington North Labour Party members. It is up to them – not party leaders – to decide who their candidate should be.
“Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process, and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy.”
“I suggest the Labour Party does the same”
He added: “At a time when the Government is overseeing the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, this is a divisive distraction from our overriding goal: to defeat the Conservative Party at the next general election.
“I am proud to represent the labour movement in Parliament through my constituency. I am focused on standing up for workers on the picket line, the marginalised, and all those worried about their futures.
“That is what I’ll continue to do. I suggest the Labour Party does the same.”
The Opposition leader used a speech on Wednesday to invite his opponents on the Labour left to leave the party, which he said is now “unrecognisable” from its form under Mr Corbyn.
“Let me be very clear, Jeremy Corbyn will not stand at the next general election as a Labour Party candidate,” Sir Keir said in east London.
“What I said about the party changing I meant and we are not going back.”
Islington North odds
Bookmakers make Corbyn 7/4 to stand and win a seat as an Independent MP at the next General Election.
Corbyn is also 8/1 second favourite to become the next Mayor of London, behind market leader Sadiq Khan.
William Hill Spokesperson, Lee Phelps, said: “Following Labour leader Keir Starmer’s announcement that Jeremy Corbyn won’t be a standing as a Labour candidate when Britain next goes to the polls, we’ve gone 7/4 that he becomes the first Independent MP elected to parliament since 2006.
“There could be more of the old guard returning to the House of Commons too, with Boris Johnson 7/4 to win any seat.”
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