Labour body to vote on motion to block Corbyn from standing for party
There is “no mystery” to a pending vote on Sir Keir Starmer’s formal proposal to block Jeremy Corbyn from running for the party at the next general election, Ed Miliband has said.
The Labour leader will on Tuesday put forward a motion at a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) saying it will not endorse his predecessor.
The motion is expected to be backed by the NEC in opposition to the veteran MP, who has represented the London constituency of Islington North since 1983.
Mr Corbyn accused Sir Keir of undermining the party’s internal democracy ahead of the vote.
But Ed Miliband, a former Labour leader himself, insisted that the background to the row was well known and that there was “no mystery” to why the proposal had been made by Sir Keir.
Sir Keir’s motion says Mr Corbyn “will not be endorsed by the NEC as a candidate on behalf of the Labour Party at the next general election”.
He ruled out Mr Corbyn standing again for Labour last month, as he insisted the party has undergone a transformation since he took over.
Sir Keir confirmed the move after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) lifted Labour out of two years of special measures over its failings on antisemitism under Mr Corbyn.
“I’m not privy to exactly what goes on in the National Executive, but I don’t think there is any mystery about the background to today’s discussion at the National Executive Committee,” Mr Miliband told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It’s about one thing, which is about Jeremy Corbyn’s reaction to the EHRC report on antisemitism and his refusal to apologise for that reaction. That is the background of this. I don’t think there’s any mystery about that.”
Mr Corbyn is sitting in the Commons as an independent after he was suspended over his response to the damning EHRC report in 2020 which found that Labour had broken equalities law.
“Keir Starmer said some weeks ago that he didn’t believe Jeremy Corbyn should be a candidate at the election and that is obviously a decision the National Executive will have to make,” Mr Miliband said.
Left-winger Mr Corbyn is considering whether to run as an independent, setting up a potentially distracting challenge for the new leadership at the next election.
Mr Miliband was also pressed on concerns following remarks by Martin Forde QC, the barrister who carried out a review of the party’s internal culture, that Labour has a “hierarchy” that sees Islamophobia and anti-black racism not taken as seriously as antisemitism.
“I certainly don’t have that hierarchy. Keir Starmer doesn’t,” Mr Miliband said.
“I’m not involved in the detail of the implementation of Martin Forde’s report. We have to take it absolutely seriously.
“The Labour Party has got to be a safe place for ethnic minorities, for people of all backgrounds, and all forms of racism, all forms of prejudice and all forms of discrimination should be taken as seriously as each other.
“That is the whole basis of the Labour Party, and we’ve got to have it in our internal processes too.”