Labour: Lammy defends calls to 'embrace Blair's legacy'
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Sir Keir Starmer removed the whip from the former Labour leader, in reaction to comments he made after a major report was published into anti-Semitism within the party. Mr Corbyn also lost his Labour party membership briefly, but this was reinstated after 19 days.
Corbynites are hoping to use Labour’s annual conference next month to pass a motion that could see Mr Corbyn regain the Labour whip.
According to The Guardian, a text is being circulated by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy that would give party members the final say over disciplinary issues.
Local Labour branches are being urged to support the proposal, which could then be put to a vote at the conference.
The change would “require the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] and chief whip to report directly to the conference, including on MPs’ discipline, with the conference able to confirm or reject disciplinary decisions that are of concern to delegates”.
However this has outraged some Labour insiders, who fear it would cause chaos around sensitive issues such as sexual harassment.
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols said: “The last thing we need is a rule change that could lead to the second guessing of the outcome of bullying and sexual harassment cases or the debate of individual disciplinary cases.
“This is not how our complaints system should run and should be rejected if it goes to conference floor.”
If the proposal is put before conference, and approved, it would be a huge embarrassment to Sir Keir.
Last year the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published a report on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.
It concluded Labour breached the Equalities Act in two cases, and could have dealt with incidents more effectively “if the leadership had chosen to do so”.
The document stated: “We found specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference in our evidence.
“But equally of concern was a lack of leadership within the Labour party on these issues, which is hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism.”
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In response to the report, Mr Corbyn claimed Labour anti-Semitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents”.
This infuriated Sir Keir, who had apologised to Britain’s Jewish community and described the report’s publication as “a day of shame” for Labour.
He added anyone who argued Labour’s anti-Semitism problem was invented or exaggerated is “part of the problem and should be nowhere near the Labour Party”.
Shortly after Mr Corbyn’s remarks were made public, he was suspended from the party and lost the whip.
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Last month, Labour voted to ban four left-wing political factions from the party.
Supporters of Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour in Exile Network and Socialist Appeal can no longer be party members.
On Sunday John McDonnell, Labour’s former shadow chancellor, urged Sir Keir to restore the whip to Mr Corbyn.
He tweeted: “Allowing issue of withdrawal of whip from Jeremy to drag on into conference is not only wrong but electorally & tactically inane.
“Even if Starmer wins vote at conference it highlights a party bitterly divided, turning off voters. Advice: grow up & reinstate.”
In December 2019 Mr Corbyn led Labour to its worst general election defeat since 1935.
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