Diane Abbott says Corbyn will win as independent
Diane Abbott has insisted Jeremy Corbyn will win if he stands as an independent candidate at the next election.
The Labour MP, who is a close ally of the Islington North MP, also branded Sir Keir Starmer’s move to block him as “extraordinary”.
Ms Abbott told Good Morning Britain: “Let me say, Jeremy is not and has never been an anti-semite.
“It is extraordinary that we are going to throw him out. I don’t know if he’s going to run as an independent but if he does he’ll win.”
Labour’s National Executive Committee last week backed a proposal from Sir Keir not to endorse Mr Corbyn in contesting Islington North for Labour at the next election.
The former Labour leader currently sits as an independent after losing the whip over an anti-semitism row.
Mr Corbyn has criticised his successor’s decision to block him from standing for Labour.
He called it a “shameful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice”.
Mr Corbyn accused Sir Keir of launching “an assault on the rights of his own Labour members” and “breaking his pledge to build a united and democratic party that advances social, economic and climate justice”.
In a hint he could run as an independent, he 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.”
If Mr Corbyn did run 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 a membership of for nearly 60 years.
Mr Corbyn remains a member of the Labour Party but has lost the whip, meaning he is sitting in the Commons as an independent.
Party rules mean he could lose his membership if he announces he will run against an official Labour candidate.
He was suspended over his response to the damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report in 2020 on antisemitism in Labour.
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