Words by Ettie Langridge
On Tuesday 17 November it was announced Jeremy Corbyn would be readmitted into the Labour party following a ruling by the NEC panel.
The divisive decision to suspend the former Labour leader came after he failed to retract comments made about the EHRC Report regarding antisemitism within the Labour party during his time as leader.
Corbyn admitted regret that “it took longer to deliver that change than it should” with regards to complaints processes, but stated “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons” within the report.
The report had described the parties “serious failings” in handling antisemitism complaints during this period.
The party, now headed by Keir Starmer, responded by making a swift decision to suspend and withdraw Corbyn’s whip, a move that further split the unity of the already fractured party.
Some praised Starmers seemingly strong stance on tackling problems within the party, while Corbyn and his supporters vowed to fight what they saw as a politically motivated injustice.
The ruling to reinstate Corbyn has been met with similar mixed reaction. Those who welcomed the sanction of the former labour leader expressed skepticism and shock at the U-turn on the party’s position.
The Jewish Labour Movement called the “extraordinary” move the work of a “fractionally aligned political committee”, as the current leader Starmer echoed this disapprovement, calling it “painful day for the Jewish community”.
Nevertheless Corbyn’s supporters heralded the decision, with Corbyn thanking those who stood in solidarity with him as the decision was announced, tweeting “I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity.”.
The fight isn’t over yet however for the former labour leader, as his whip is yet to be reinstated. Corbyn was told Thursday 19 November that it would be withheld for 3 months at least pending further inquiry.
This decision prompted a strong reaction from some members of the NEC, who wrote to Labour’s general secretary calling it a “deliberate political interference” that “flies in the face of natural justice”, declaring their expectation that Corbyn’s whip be returned following his readmittance.
Pending the result of the continuing investigation, it’s clear that regardless of the outcome, fractures within the party grow as the vulnerable left unity continues to be shaken.
Picture Credit: Socialist Appeal