U.K. Labour bars ex-leader Corbyn from standing as its candidate at next election

Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist, enjoyed some electoral success in 2017, but in 2019 led the party to its worst defeat since the 1930s

March 28, 2023 08:07 pm | Updated 08:07 pm IST - LONDON

Jeremy Corbyn. File.

Jeremy Corbyn. File. | Photo Credit: AP

Britain's main opposition Labour Party blocked its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on March 28 from standing as one of its candidates at the next parliamentary election, as his successor Keir Starmer seeks a clear break with the party's leftist wing.

A Labour spokesperson said the party's governing body — the National Executive Committee — approved a motion proposed by Mr. Starmer not to endorse his predecessor as a candidate at the next election. The motion passed by 22 votes to 12.

Since becoming Labour leader in 2020, Mr. Starmer has sought to move the party towards the centre, telling Corbyn supporters last month that if they did not like the change he had overseen "nobody is forcing you to stay".

Mr. Corbyn, a veteran socialist, enjoyed some electoral success in 2017, but in 2019 led the party to its worst defeat since the 1930s. Britain's next election must be held by January 2025.

Corbyn (73) was suspended from Labour in 2020 for suggesting complaints of antisemitism within the party during his leadership had been "dramatically overstated" for political reasons. His party membership was later reinstated but Mr. Starmer refused to allow him to join the parliamentary Labour Party and he currently sits as an independent lawmaker.

Momentum, a group set up to support Mr. Corbyn, described the decision to bar him as a candidate as "a dark day for democracy".

On Monday, Mr. Corbyn said Mr. Starmer had broken his commitment to respect the rights of Labour members and denigrated the party's democratic foundations.

Labour has enjoyed a double-digit lead in opinion polls over the governing Conservatives since last year when short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss triggered market turmoil and sent mortgage rates soaring by announcing unfunded tax cuts.

The gap in the polls has persisted for months, but approval ratings for the Conservatives have started to recover since Truss was replaced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has scored some successes, such as renegotiating a post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.