Seven trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party have released a joint statement expressing “serious concerns” over the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn and urging the party leadership to “repair this damage”, LabourList can exclusively reveal.
A Labour spokesperson announced after the release of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on Labour antisemitism this week that the former leader had been suspended “in light of his comments… and his failure to retract them”.
Corbyn had issued a statement describing “one antisemite” in the Labour Party as “too many” but adding that “the scale” of Labour antisemitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
He has since urged the party to “kindly think again” about the decision to suspend him from Labour and withdraw the whip pending investigation. Keir Starmer has since commented that he does not want a “civil war” to break out in the party.
Trade unions including Unite, Labour’s largest donor, and TSSA, which backed Starmer in the Labour leadership election, have now urged the party leadership to “work with us on a fairer, unifying way forward” in the interests of “party unity”.
Below is the statement by Labour-affiliated trade unions in relation to the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn.
As the general secretaries of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party we seek to put on record our serious concerns about the manner of and rationale for suspension of the former party leader Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party.
The publication on Thursday of the EHRC report ought to have marked a moment of reflection and repair for our party. Instead, an ill-advised and unjust suspension has caused division.
We therefore call upon the leader, Keir Starmer, the general secretary David Evans and the NEC to work now with us as affiliated unions to repair this damage.
We speak as the leaders of unions representing working people who desperately need a Labour government. We cannot comprehend why the leadership would not only compromise the opportunity to unite our party behind the implementation of the EHRC’s important recommendations so that they can be taken forward with the members’ full trust and confidence, but also undermine our party’s democratic processes and, ultimately, our party unity.
We therefore urge Keir to work with us on a fairer, unifying way forward.
ASLEF, Mick Whelan
Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, Sarah Woolley and Ian Hodson (President)
CWU, Dave Ward
FBU, Matt Wrack
NUM, Chris Kitchen
TSSA, Manuel Cortes
Unite, Len McCluskey