Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has dropped a major hint that he will stand against Labour at the next general election.
The former party leader said: “I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society on behalf of the people of Islington North, and I have no intention of stopping now.”
He spoke out after Labour’s ruling NEC backed Keir Starmer’s bid to stop him being a candidate for the party next year.
Corbyn became a Labour MP in 1983 but has been sitting as an independent since losing the whip in 2020 after claiming anti-semitism in the party while he was leader had been “overstated” by his political opponents.
Party officials voted 22-12 in favour of a motion in Starmer’s name which said Labour’s election chances would be “significantly diminished” if Corbyn is allowed to run again.
Corbyn, who led Labour from 2015 until 2020, said the move was “a shameful attack on party democracy, party members and natural justice”.
In a statement, he said: “Today’s disgraceful move shows contempt for the millions of people who voted for our party in 2017 and 2019, and will demotivate those who still believe in the importance of a transformative Labour government.
“Keir Starmer has instead launched an assault on the rights of his own Labour members, breaking his pledge to build a united and democratic party that advances social, economic and climate justice.
“I will not be intimidated into silence. I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society on behalf of the people of Islington North, and I have no intention of stopping now.”
Corbyn supporters have also condemned the decision to block his candidacy.
John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor when Corbyn was leader, told Times Radio: “We’ve got a general election in 18 months time. We need to mobilise the whole of the party: left, right and centre. And this is so divisive, and it’ll demoralised quite a few people.
“And actually I think it might, in many ways, cost us votes in a number of constituencies. So I think it’s a really bad mistake.”
Meanwhile, Momentum founder Jon Lansman compared Starmer to Russian president Vladimir Putin.