Former Labour leader Corbyn to stand as independent in UK election

Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange protest in London

LONDON (Reuters) -Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of Britain's Labour Party, said on Friday he would stand as an independent candidate at a national election on July 4, in a move which could lead to a potential upset for Labour in his north London seat.

Labour, far ahead of the governing Conservatives in the polls, suspended Corbyn in 2020 following a report into how anti-Semitism complaints were handled under his leadership.

Corbyn was Labour leader at the last election in 2019. He has held the Islington North seat since 1983.

Labour officials have not included the 74-year-old in a shortlist for candidates for the seat, prompting his decision to go it alone as an independent.

"I want our political parties to be democratic, but members of Islington North Labour have been denied the right to choose a candidate," Corbyn said in a video announcing his plan.

"So we have to stand up. We have to stand up and say, we're not taking this anymore. We will assert our rights. That's why I'm standing to be an independent candidate for the people of Islington North."

Asked about Corbyn, Labour leader Keir Starmer told reporters at a later campaign rally: "I think Jeremy Corbyn's days of commenting on what the Labour Party is doing are over."

(Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle)