Angry Corbyn snaps while supporters accuse Starmer of acting like Putin with seat block
Jeremy Corbyn snapped at a reporter when asked if he will run as an independent at the next general election. The Islington North MP has been blocked from standing for Labour by his successor Sir Keir Starmer.
The reporter from Sky News approached Mr Corbyn on the street on Tuesday and asked: “Can we just very quickly ask you if you’re thinking of standing as an independent Mr Corbyn?”
The former Labour leader replied: “Thank you very much. I’m going to the demonstration against the immigration bill and I suggest you report that too.”
The journalist pressed: “We are reporting it.”
Mr Corbyn said: “Well good, then you can come and listen what I have to say. I look forward to seeing you over there. Thank you very much.”
The reporter continued: “I just want to talk to you for 10 seconds about your future as a Labour MP.”
A visibly annoyed Mr Corbyn turned to the journalist and in a raised voice said: “Thank you very much.”
The reporter added: “Why don’t you want to talk about it? Lots of people really want to hear about your future as a Labour MP.”
Mr Corbyn then complained that the journalist had not told him who she was or which outlet she was from.
But she insisted she told him as she approached him, before Mr Corbyn walked off.
It comes as Sir Keir has been accused of behaving like “Putin of the Labour Party” by the founder of Momentum.
Jon Lansman lashed out at the Labour leader after he moved to block his predecessor from standing for the party at the next general election.
Mr Lansman told Times Radio: “Keir Starmer, unfortunately, is behaving as if he was some kind of Putin of the Labour Party. That is not the way we do politics.”
But Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge hit back: “When I heard that, I thought, it’s half laughable but actually, it’s totally inappropriate and ridiculous to compare a dictator fighting a war to someone who has zero tolerance against racism in the form of antisemitism in the Labour Party, and who is fighting for what is right.”
“I can’t think of circumstances in which Jeremy Corbyn could be a candidate for Labour in the next general election.
“I don’t think you’ll ever apologise, he’s had years to and he hasn’t done it.”
Sir Keir, who has sought to distance himself from his predecessor, yesterday got the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to vote not to endorse Mr Corbyn in contesting Islington North for Labour at the next election.
Mr Corbyn is suspended from being a Labour MP and sits as an independent following a row over antisemitism.
The former Labour leader has dropped a huge hint he will run as an independent candidate at the next election, saying on Tuesday he has “no intention of stopping” fighting for his constituents.
He criticised what he called a “shameful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice”.
Mr Corbyn added: “I will not be intimidated into silence. I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society on behalf of the people of Islington North, and I have no intention of stopping now.”
His close ally John McDonnell this morning said he believes the decision could be reversed.
The former shadow chancellor told TalkTV: “I am a great believer in the powers of conversion and I think we can reverse this decision, full stop. At this stage that is as far as anyone can go.
“In terms of what Jeremy’s decisions are, again, I think like me he is hoping that common sense will prevail and he will be allowed to stand.”
If Mr Corbyn did stand as an independent in the seat he has represented since 1983, he could create a distracting challenge for Sir Keir at the next general election.
But such a move could also see him thrown out of the party he has held membership of for nearly 60 years.
Mr Corbyn remains a member of the Labour Party but has lost the whip over his response to the damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report in 2020 on antisemitism in Labour.