Sunday, November 27, 2022

Jeremy Corbyn: I hope to be a Labor MP again

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Through Rhiannon HopleyLatest Page News Producer

Jeremy Corbyn has been a fixture at Westminster for almost four decades, but he says he never intended to be a politician. Nonetheless, he was elected to the Islington North seat in 1983 and has been there ever since.

Now, despite nine successful re-elections and one term as Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn does not know if he will ever be able to run for Labor MP again.

He lost the whip in 2020 for his reaction to the Equality Watchman’s report on anti-Semitism in the party. He now sits as an independent MP.

Government has faced months of turmoil and Labor has started to line up in preparation for the election – but what does this mean for the man who currently represents Islington North?

“I am a Labor Party Member and MP. I want to see an end to the Tory government. I want to see a Labor Party that has coherent, radical views because that’s what I think this country needs.

“I hope the party will reinstate me the whip that I believe should never have been removed.”

But Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer says he will not reinstate Corbyn as Labor MP until he apologizes for his comments in response to a report on antisemitism in the party in October 2020.

For his part, Corbyn insists he does not know what is expected of him:

“I don’t know what I have to do because the decision has been made and different things have been said both behind the scenes and in public about what should or shouldn’t happen.”

He denies calling the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report exaggerated:

“I did not say that. I said I accept the EHRC report. I also said that some of the complaints that were made were either false or exaggerated. What I also said is that one anti-Semite is one anti-Semite too many. Anti-Semitism is a poison and evil in our society.”

Asked if he thinks there is a movement within the party to prevent his reinstatement, Corbyn says he is not sure.

“I dont know. My local party members have been disenfranchised in this process because they are not allowed to decide whether or not to proceed with the election. That didn’t happen. I’m working as hard as ever the MP for Islginton North and I will continue to do so.”

Does he feel betrayed by Sir Keir Starmer?

After a pause for thought, he says, “Listen, it’s not a personal matter. I’ve done my bit for the party.”

Corbyn has no intention of retiring from politics. “I will always – until my death – be active in politics,” he says.

This would mean he would have to stand as an independent candidate if the Labor whip is not restored. There were also rumors of a pivotal point in a London mayoral campaign pitting him against Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

He refuses to commit to either option, calling them both “theoretical”.

“These are hypothetical questions that I cannot answer. I am sorry to disappoint you on this occasion. Let’s address the issue of my being elected Labor MP for Islington North and I intend to continue to do so.”

Although he does not want to commit himself to future plans (or explicitly rule them out), he does take the time to reflect on his past. When asked if he regrets his leadership, he replies simply, “I’ll let Frank Sinatra do it.”

It appears to be a nod to the American singer’s tune “My Way,” which includes lines:

“Regrets, I had a few… I did it, I did it my way.”

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Jeremy Corbyn has been a fixture at Westminster for almost four decades, but he says he never intended to be a politician. Nonetheless, he was elected to the Islington North seat in 1983 and has been there ever since.

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