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Ex-Labour leader Corbyn to stand as independent in UK election

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 24 May 2024, 05:48 PM
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Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will stand as an independent candidate in the general election, a potentially awkward moment for his old party and Keir Starmer’s campaign to become UK prime minister.

Writing for his local Islington Tribune newspaper, Corbyn confirmed on Friday he will bid for re-election in his Islington North constituency, where he has been the member of Parliament (MP) since 1983.

Corbyn was suspended from the parliamentary Labour Party in 2020, just months after Starmer took over, after he criticised the findings of a probe into anti-semitism in the party on his watch. Corbyn said the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated”.

His announcement sets up a bitter fight in his north London seat in the coming weeks. Labour has begun a selection process to find its own candidate for the constituency, which is expected to be finalised this weekend.

The risk for Labour is that the left-wing Corbyn uses the campaign to talk about issues Starmer has backed away from, such as the government’s limit on child welfare payments. The seat has been staunchly Labour for decades, though it’s unclear how much of that support Corbyn will retain as an independent.


I am standing as an independent candidate for the people of Islington North.

As your MP, I will continue to be an independent voice for equality, democracy and peace.

Please join our campaign at https://t.co/dRySocs48C. Let's prove that when we come together, we can win. pic.twitter.com/rkyf5yakod

- Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2024


Still, Labour officials think Corbyn’s decision to stand will actually help the party in the July 4 election by underscoring how much the party has changed under Starmer. Labour holds a lead of about 20 points in national opinion polls.

“The Labour Party we see today is unrecognisable from what it had become under Corbyn,” said Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement. “Voters in Islington North deserve a Labour MP and government - we’ll be campaigning to make sure they get one.”

 


  - Bloomberg

 

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