28 Socialist Campaign Group MPs urge reversal of Corbyn whip decision

© UK Parliament/CC BY-NC 2.0

The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs on the party’s left wing have issued a statement calling for the reversal of the decision taken by Keir Starmer not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

It was released shortly before Unite general secretary Len McCluskey declared that he was “astonished” at the withdrawal of the whip, saying it was “vindictive and vengeful” and “shows marked bad faith”.

The SCG statement describing the reinstatement of Corbyn as “correct” and the continued suspension of the party whip as “wrong and damaging” has 32 signatories, including 27 Labour MPs plus Claudia Webbe.

A number of MPs who did not join SCG colleagues in calling for the reinstatement of Corbyn earlier this month have signed the latest joint declaration, but some SCG members are still missing from the list.

Those who have opted not to sign the new statement include shadow cabinet members Andy McDonald and Marsha de Cordova, and Labour frontbenchers Sam Tarry, Imran Hussain and Rachael Maskell.

Corbyn was reinstated as a party member by a panel of five Labour national executive committee (NEC) members on Tuesday, after being suspended from the party by general secretary David Evans in October.

Starmer announced on Wednesday morning that he would not restore the party whip, however, due he said to Corbyn’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on Labour antisemitism.

Reiterating that Corbyn’s EHRC reaction “undermined” Labour’s ability to tackle antisemitism, the leader said: “I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl welcomed Starmer’s withholding of the Labour whip from Corbyn and described the move as an “appropriate leadership decision”.

Momentum accused Starmer of “making it up as he goes along” while being “farcical and incompetent”, with the co-chair Andrew Scattergood saying: “They can’t remove the whip from our movement.”

Below is the full text of the Socialist Campaign Group statement and its signatories.

Yesterday’s decision to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour Party was the correct one and should be implemented across all levels of the party.

In light of this, the decision to not restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn is wrong and damaging to the Labour Party.

This decision and the division it causes severely undermines efforts to unite to defeat antisemitism and fully implement the EHRC recommendations and to challenge and defeat this disastrous Conservative government.

It should be swiftly reversed.

Signed (32 names)
Diane Abbott MP
Tahir Ali MP
Paula Barker MP
Apsana Begum MP
Olivia Blake MP
Christine Blower
Pauline Bryan
Richard Burgon MP
Ian Byrne MP
Dan Carden MP
Katy Clark
Mary Foy MP
John Hendy
Rachel Hopkins MP
Kim Johnson MP
Ian Lavery MP
Clive Lewis MP
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
John McDonnell MP
Ian Mearns MP
Navendu Mishra MP
Grahame Morris MP
Kate Osamor MP
Kate Osborne MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Jon Trickett MP
Claudia Webbe MP
Mick Whitley MP
Nadia Whittome MP
Beth Winter MP

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