McDonnell savages Starmer on refusal to bring Corbyn back ‘You don’t dump on colleagues’

Keir Starmer urged to 'bring Corbyn back' by McDonnell

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Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell demanded Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer give the whip back to his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn. Mr McDonnell stressed Sir Keir should not “dump on your colleagues” and showered Mr Corbyn with praise for his work as a committed campaigner and MP. Mr Corbyn had the whip removed in November 2020 after claiming the scale of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was “dramatically overstated” after a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found Labour could have tackled antisemitism more effectively “if the leadership had chosen to do so”.

McDonnell told LBC’s Ian Dale on Tuesday: “He (Corbyn) still hasn’t got the whip back and again I think that is a real mistake by Keir.

“Just drop it and let him back in the party.”

The former Shadow Chancellor explained: “He just needs the Chief Whip and the Leader to say come back. 

“And Jeremy would be like a shot back but I don’t understand why they’ve done that to him.”

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Ian Dale then questioned what the positives of allowing Corbyn back into the party would be given the cloud which Corbyn was dismissed under.

Mr McDonnell hit back saying: “What was bizarre is that Jeremy got reinstated as a party member and then withdraws the whip and no one completely understood why at that stage if you’ve been reinstated as a party member, because there are no disciplinary matters outstanding.”

The Labour MP then slammed Sir Keir, saying: “Just let him back in. It’s beginning to look a bit personal and I don’t like that.

“I just think it’s personal and I don’t like it. He should be allowed back in because actually he’s been a Labour member for 50 years!”


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John McDonnell went on to highlight Corbyn’s long history as an activist politician and committed campaigner and MP for his constituency of Islington North.

He said: “He’s been a Labour MP for all these years and served his constituency well.”

And in a spectacular brand of Sir Keir, McDonnell stressed “you don’t dump on colleagues.”

He also added that he was “annoyed” about Sir Keir Starmer’s move to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Labour.

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Sir Keir has been facing growing pressure after Labour suffered a disastrous defeat in Hartlepool, where voters turned to the Conservatives for the first time in 47 years.

Former party leader Ed Miliband said Labour had a mountain to climb and a “collective responsibility” to show what it stood for.

Mr Milliband told the BBC: “We had our worst election results since 1935 in 2019, that we have a mountain to climb, that Keir Starmer has provided new leadership, he has put the Remain-Leave argument behind us, but we all have a collective responsibility to show exactly what we stand for going forward.

“Absolutely we do, leadership is a collective endeavour and we all have a job to do, and there are massive things to fight for in our country.”

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