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Corbyn thanks NEC members for motion to restore whip

Former Labour leader has thanks Nadia Jama, Ian Murray and others for their support ahead of today’s national executive vote

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has sent a message of thanks to his supporters on the party’s national executive (NEC) ahead of a vote today on a motion to restore the Labour whip to him.

Corbyn was reinstated as a party member by a right-dominated NEC panel shortly after Keir Starmer broke the party’s rules to suspend him – and the reinstatement automatically made Corbyn a Labour MP again under the party’s rules, but Starmer’s contempt for those rules and for the EHRC’s ban on political interference was again put on show when he immediately withdrew the whip, creating the ridiculous situation in which, for the first time ever, a Labour member is an MP but not a Labour MP.

But at today’s meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), a motion will be placed in front of members asking them to support a request to restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn. The motion highlights the divisive nature of the actions taken by party leader Keir Starmer and urges Chief Whip Alan Campbell MP to restore the whip to Corbyn – after 14 months of Corbyn sitting on opposition benches as a ‘independent’.

The motion goes on to say that “disbarring the sitting Member of Parliament from the process is extremely disrespectful to the people of Islington North who have overwhelmingly elected Jeremy Corbyn as their Labour MP for nearly four decades” and that “disbarring Jeremy Corbyn at the next General Election brings with it the added danger of local electorate punishing the Labour Party, should they not have the candidate they wish in place, creating a huge media storm in the process.

Corbyn’s 2020 reinstatement as a Labour member came after the NEC panel was warned that they were open to legal action if they failed to do end Corbyn’s suspension, as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report had underlined that anyone has a right to dispute and debate the extent of antisemitism in the party – and that Corbyn had enhanced protection in that right as an elected representative.

There is overwhelming support in Corbyn’s Islington North constituency for the restoration of the Labour whip – just as there is among party members in the constituency and further afield. Corbyn has served as the area’s MP since 1983. A group of constituents, including local Jewish members, have set up Islington Friends of Jeremy Corbyn to lobby for the restoration of the whip.

Whatever the result of the vote at the NEC today, members across the party are urging Keir Starmer and the Chief Whip to do the right thing and reinstate Corbyn as a Labour MP. Many predict that the ongoing issue over Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension will be a hugely distracting media story in the run up to the next general election. In a joint statement, supporters of the move said:

The discussion today will be about the reinstatement of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn, but it will also be about upholding due process and the decision of the NEC’s disputes panel, where 5 sitting members of the NEC heard the case in detail and readmitted Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour Party.

Today’s motion enables the NEC to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s situation and allows NEC members to speak directly on this issue and express a view on the impasse which is causing such harm and division in our party at a time when what we want to do is to unite to defeat the Tories. We are heartened to hear that there are many members of NEC who seem willing to find a solution to this situation and we look forward to hearing their views today and securing their support for this motion. We ask them to vote with their conscience.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU)’s Ian Murray, who tabled the motion, said:

I have asked at every meeting of the NEC when the whip will return to Jeremy Corbyn to no avail. It really isn’t good enough when the former leader has been through the party’s due process and was readmitted as a member. We are simply calling on the Chief Whip to restore Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour Member of Parliament.

Nadia Jama, a party members’ representative on the NEC and seconder of the motion, said:

Members contact us all the time asking when Jeremy’s whip will be restored. They understand the division and harm this is doing in their local constituency parties. All they want to do is get on and fight this Government. They know, however, that the way Jeremy Corbyn has been treated can’t be normalised. Working class people need there to be an effective, fighting opposition at a time of national crisis, yet this issue continues to divide us.”

Supporting the motion, Laura Pidcock, also a CLP rep on the NEC, said:

We are at a point where a 10 times elected Labour MP and twice elected Leader of the Labour Party, whom until just under two years ago, members of the NEC and of the party were working to elect as Prime Minister, is still being denied the democratic right to serve as a Labour MP.

In Islington North, there is deep dismay amongst many constituents and local party members alike. This is at the same time that the party has welcomed, cheered in fact, a Tory MP, who has voted against everything we believe in. It can only lead us to one question: what have we become? At the very least the whip should be returned.

Jeremy Corbyn expressed his thanks to representatives who have brought this motion to the NEC and to members of the party who have supported him during the last 14 months, when the party whip has been denied to him:

I am very thankful to the members of Labour’s NEC who will raise the issue of the removal of my Parliamentary whip today. I was elected on a Labour Party mandate by the people of Islington North. I thank the NEC members for placing this motion in order to have a full discussion on this matter and I thank all the people from all over the country who have been so supportive of me.

Members of Islington Friends of Corbyn, along with Corbyn’s partner Laura Alvarez, will appear on Socialist Telly at 7.30pm tonight to discuss the vote and surrounding events.

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  1. I believe we will win the motion today and the whip will be justly restored to Corbyn but, for how long? I am not going to be surprised if other members of the SCG start losing their trigger ballots from February.
    I can see Bell Ribero-Adi, Apsana Begum and Kate Osamor losing their trigger ballots, they are all in safe Labour seats in London. If Corbyn comes out in their support he will lose the Labour whip again.

  2. Whatever they do to him, he remains a gentleman. I don’t know how he maintains his patience, with them. I couldn’t.

  3. I thought that Starmer had reduced the probability of unseating a member ..?

    This was in order to protect right wing members from “hard left” Labour
    Party members..


    As for Corbyn, in questioning the “scale” of antisemitism he is simply
    referring to the sort of issue discussed on “More or Less” (R4). So far as I
    can remember he then laments this exaggeration as resulting in anxiety
    amongst some of the Jewish Community as to their physical safety, putting
    it down as a direct consequence.

  4. Vexatious claims of anti semitism are hate crimes and should be prosecuted
    Safest country in Europe for the Jewish Community thanks to people like Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour movement
    JC doesn’t have a racist bone in his body

    I hope he loses today
    We don’t want JC back, we want our party back
    Time to launch The Socialist Party

    1. Abusing The Holocaust for Political Purposes, to me, must be the most Insensitive, Disgusting Despicable form of Antisemitism that exists and let’s face it there are MANY People, Orgs, Comms, Charities who are VERY MUCH Guilty of That Vile Antisemitism!
      One just needs to look at the Google Hits and when Antisemitism was mentioned most and least to see the Perfectly Planned Politically Assaults.

    2. Doug I think the fact that the Wooden Tops , Starmer and Rayner. are absent from the NEC is a good indication that the motion will be carried.

  5. i sincerely hope he wins back the whip and hands it straight back with a Thanks, but That is not The Party I joined!
    Goddamned Thatcherite Neoliberal Neo-Labour Party TORY FILTH!
    Jeremy Corbyn does not belong there with those Vultures and Hyena!


    Motion for Labour’s ruling body to restore whip to Jeremy Corbyn is defeated 23 to 14.

    1. Jeremy Corbyn
      Today’s NEC vote and Keir Starmer’s ongoing decision to bar me from sitting as a Labour MP is disappointing.
      I am grateful for and humbled by the support I’ve received, especially from my Islington North constituents.
      The struggle for peace, justice and sustainability goes on.
      5:36 pm · 25 Jan 2022·Twitter for iPhone

    2. No surprise there then. So, at least many of those who have slogged the streets for the LP at previous elections can put their feet up in May.
      I wonder what the next load of manure from the “leadership” will be.

  7. As one of my union members said, with the climate crisis and all the warmongering that’s going on, we simply don’t have the time to wait for the Left in Labour to turn things around.
    It was me who at Momentum’s 1st Conference in Birmingham (when I was a member) before the 2017 GE who said our best and only hope was to get JC out direct to the public.
    In 2019 I said if we didn’t support BREXIT we would “Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”
    Now I suggest it’s time for a New Left wing democratic socialist party (ideally backed by some Left Trade Unions) for those who have the political courage and vision to make history.
    Solidarity to Socialists.

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