Jeremy Corbyn officially stands as independent candidate after Labour explusion

Jeremy Corbyn will once again challenge for the Islington North seat   (Lucy North/PA Wire)
Jeremy Corbyn will once again challenge for the Islington North seat (Lucy North/PA Wire)

Jeremy Corbyn said the Labour’s Party’s behaviour towards Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen was “deplorable”, as he handed in his nomination papers to officially stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming general election.

The 74-year-old veteran socialist was joined by comedian Rob Delaney and local residents to kickstart his campaign to regain the Islington North seat he has held since 1983.

Dozens of campaigners sang “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” and cars peeped their horns as the former Labour leader stood on the steps outside Islington Town Hall.

He said: “I hope those who have always supported Labour will understand that I am here to represent the people of Islington North with the same principles I’ve stood by my entire life: equality, democracy and peace. These principles are needed now, more than ever.”

The 74-year-old added that he wanted to bring back public ownership of the UK’s major utilities, such as water and also wants to stop what he sees as privatisation of the NHS.

Supporters gathered in Islington for Mr Corbyn’s launch (Independent)
Supporters gathered in Islington for Mr Corbyn’s launch (Independent)

He also wants to be a voice for young people suffering from high rents and low wages, called for a ceasefire in Gaza and said if he was re-elected he would campaign for an “equal and sustainable world”.

Actor and Deadpool star Mr Delaney spoke briefly, telling the cheering crowd that Mr Corbyn was a “wonderful constituent MP” and a “fantastic guy”.

Speaking to the press after the announcement Mr Corbyn said that Sir Keir Starmer is trying to “purge” the party of as many left wing characters as he can. He pointed to the treatment of with Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen as proof of his point.

He said: “I think it’s deplorable. Diane has suffered more abuse than probably any other MP, in fact as much as all the MPs put together. Yet she has stoically gone through it, I think she should be admired.”

Ms Abbott faced an almighty battle to ensure her nomination as a Labour candidate in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and Ms Shaheen sensationally quit the party on Tuesday and accused it of “a hierarchy of racism”.

Asked why Sir Keir is dissing the Corbyn era, Mr Corbyn told reporters: “He seems to think that forgetting the past and pretending it never happened is somehow going to make you strong.”

He added: “You can’t just diss the past - you’ve got to understand why things happen.”

Mr Corbyn, who was in a jovial mood throughout, said he did not watch the debate between Sir Keir and Rishi Sunak on Tuesday night and fancied Arsenal’s title chances next season after narrowly being beaten by Man City this year.

After being asked if he was tempted to join George Galloway’s Workers Party rather than stand as an independent, he said: “I admire George’s work on Gaza and Palestine and his lifetime determination on that. But there are issues on social policy and social justice where he and I have a different view, we know that. He probably thinks I am a bit woke.”

The former Labour leader has been expelled from the party (Independent)
The former Labour leader has been expelled from the party (Independent)

Mr Corbyn led Labour from 2015 to 2020 but had the whip removed after he claimed that accusations of anti-Semitism during his time as leader had been “overstated for political reasons”.

He declared last month he intended to stand as an independent candidate and was consequently expelled from the Labour Party. In an interview with the Islington Tribune he said he would be “a voice for equality, democracy and peace”.

Local entrepreneur and campaigner Praful Nargund will stand against him for Labour, in what will be one of the most keenly watched battles at the election.

Mr Corbyn’s victory would present a headache for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who has largely marginalised more left-wing elements as he sought to move the party to the centre ground of British politics.

The leftwing pro-Corbyn grassroots group Momentum criticised Sir Keir for blocking Mr Corbyn from standing again as a Labour candidate.

Kate Dove, the co-chair of the group said: “This is an almighty mess for Labour and Keir Starmer alone bears responsibility. Starmer’s attacks on Jeremy were never just about one man – they were about driving out the socialist politics he represented, in favour of elite interests.”

Sir Keir defended his decision to ban Mr Corbyn from standing for Labour as part of his efforts to “tear antisemitism out of our party by the roots”.