PUBLISHED: 14:46, Thu, Oct 29, 2020 | UPDATED: 14:47, Thu, Oct 29, 2020
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has withdrawn the whip from his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn in an unprecedented move today. The BBC’s Lewis Goodall dubbed it an “extraordinary moment” and tweeted: “I cannot think of any kind of parallel. “The man who was leader of the Labour Party in April, who Labour was putting forward as Prime Minister in December, who Keir Starmer described recently as a ‘a friend’ is no longer a Labour MP.”
Explaining the sudden move, a Labour spokesperson said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.
“He has also had the whip removed by the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
In response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, Mr Corbyn insisted earlier today that he was not “part of the problem” when it came to Labour’s handling of antisemitism.
He said: “The number of cases in the public perception had become overstated.
“The existence of the problem I fully acknowledge which is why I took action to end the problem in the party by introducing a process to get antisemites out of the party.”
Jeremy Corbyn has just been suspended from the Labour Party (Image: Getty)
Corbyn and his successor Sir Keir Starmer (L) (Image: Getty)
Mr Corbyn was an incredibly divisive leader, both in and outside the Labour Party, during his five years at the helm.
He was considered a far-left backbencher due to his decades in the Commons, during which he defied his party’s whip more than 400 times, and so his election stunned many loyal Labour supporters.
His leadership election was also based on the new system where one member had one vote.
This put MPs on the same footing as Labour members, while the wider public could also register to vote by paying just £3.
The BBC’s Steve Richards claimed in a 2016 podcast, ‘The Corbyn Story’, that his election was “wholly unexpected and sensational”.
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Sir Keir vowed to take a strong stance on antisemitism within the Labour Party (Image: Getty)