Finish the job and remove Corbyn from Labour Party

The JC Leader, 22 July 2021


Britain's Labour Party leader Keir Starmer leaves his home in London on May 10, 2021. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

July 22, 2021 12:51

Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to ask the Labour National Executive Committee to proscribe four organisations associated with support for Jeremy Corbyn is a necessary but far from sufficient step on the party’s journey back to electability.

When Sir Keir was elected leader last year, this newspaper suggested that he embrace conflict with the Corbynites. Taking on those responsible for turning Labour into an institutionally racist organisation — quite apart from their ideology being at odds with those of a mainstream progressive party — would always be fundamental to Labour having any chance of returning to decency.

The Labour leader has chosen instead to take measured and slow steps, avoiding conflict if possible. He has moved in the right direction, but there will come a point at which all-out conflict is unavoidable if Sir Keir is serious.

The ragtag army of protestors outside the party’s HQ this week may look ridiculous, even eccentric, but they are dangerous. They represent views which, under Jeremy Corbyn, were at the heart of the party. Labour’s problem is that, ludicrous as these people may be individually, there are still many members — even Labour MPs — who share their politics. While they remain in the party, it is unfit even to be the opposition, let alone the government.

In this, the position of Mr Corbyn himself is indicative. He may not be a Labour MP now, having had the whip withdrawn, but he was reinstated as a party member. He should not be. A party which welcomes Jeremy Corbyn and those who support him as members is a party that deserves to remain no more than a protest movement. Sir Keir has taken some steps in the right direction.

Now he needs to stride purposefully and remove Mr Corbyn and his ilk.

July 22, 2021 12:51

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