Media claims of Starmer’s hesitation are untrue
Reports are circulating, as the Labour right desperately tries to deflate the significance of Jeremy Corbyn’s reinstatement to the Labour Party today by a right-dominated panel of NEC members, that Labour leader Keir Starmer is ‘undecided’ whether to restore the party ‘whip’ to his predecessor.
The reports are untrue. The whip was restored to Corbyn immediately on his reinstatement.
If Starmer tries to withdraw the whip after the disciplinary process has been duly completed, it would be the very definition of the ‘political interference’ that the recent EHRC report – which Starmer has promised to implement in full – forbids.
There is one potential avenue for the Labour right to try to attack Corbyn’s status as a Labour MP. The ‘parliamentary Labour party’ (PLP) standing orders allow MPs to vote on withdrawing the whip – a tactic right-wing MPs used against former MP Chris Williamson. However, this would also be indisputable political interference in the disciplinary process and the standing orders will need to be changed to bring Labour into line with the EHRC’s requirements.
In addition, the party’s rules make clear that any such attempt would be subject to the NEC’s decision if Corbyn decided to contest it – and the NEC has already ruled, via its constituted panel – one that consisted of a majority of right-wingers:
Again, if the NEC were to concede to the tantrums of petulant MPs, Starmer’s commitment to abide by the findings of the EHRC report would become a mockery – which may do much to explain the attempts by some MPs to use false reports in the media to tarnish Corbyn’s reinstatement.
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