Starmer sparks furious backlash as he refuses to restore Labour whip to Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer has sparked a furious backlash from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn as he blocked him from sitting as a Labour MP despite his readmission as a party member.

The Labour leader said his predecessor had "undermined" work to restore trust and confidence in the party's ability to tackle anti-Semitism as he declined to restore the whip.

Mr Corbyn was reinstated as a Labour member by the National Executive Committee on Tuesday, three weeks after he was suspended over his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report.

But Sir Keir said on Wednesday morning that he would not restore the whip, meaning Mr Corbyn will continue to sit as an independent MP and will not be part of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

44 PHOTOS
Jeremy Corbyn
See Gallery
Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a Together for Education rally at Central Hall Westminster in London.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to at the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepoo where he announced a package of measures that the next Labour government will introduce to support armed forces personnel and veterans at the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) celebrates with the Shadow Cabinet and Labour MPs as they welcome newly-elected Labour Member of Parliament Lisa Forbes (left) to Parliament in Westminster, London, following her victory in the Peterborough by-election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to announce a package of measures that the next Labour government will introduce to support armed forces personnel and veterans at the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks at the Pill Millennium Centre, Newport, after Ruth Jones won the Newport West by-election.
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and fellow Labour MPs welcome the newly elected MP for Newport West, Ruth Jones (right), to the Houses of Parliament in London today.
A supporter takes a picture of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn with Ruth Jones (centre) and Jane Hutt (left) at the Pill Millennium Centre, Newport, after Ms Jones she won the Newport West by-election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre), shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey in his office in the Houses of Parliament in London preparing for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London, after he said on Tuesday he would be "very happy" to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May when she offered to discuss plans with him on exiting the EU.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future UK-EU relationship, in his office in the Houses of Parliament in London.
Embargoed to 0001 Sunday March 31 File photo dated 20/08/18 of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard. Scottish Labour has suggested councils across Scotland should be allowed to establish municipal bus companies.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn walks along Dolphin Street in Newport, South Wales, as he joins prospective parliamentary candidate Ruth Jones (left) who is standing in the Newport West by-election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) poses with Labour supporters in Dolphin Street, Newport, South Wales, as he accompanies prospective parliamentary candidate Ruth Jones (not in picture) who is standing in the Newport West by-election.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn poses for a selfie in Dolphin Street, Newport, South Wales, as he campaigns with prospective parliamentary candidate Ruth Jones who is standing in the Newport West by-election.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn canvassing in Morecambe with candidate Lizzi Collinge, while on the local elections campaign.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn canvassing in Morecambe , while on the local elections campaign.
Kier Stammer (left) and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrive in Brussels ahead of a meeting with Michel Barnier.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (2nd R) speaks with guests during a National Holocaust Memorial Day event at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on January 26, 2017 in London, England. The commemorative event, attended by religious leaders, heard testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust, in which millions of predominantly Jewish people were killed. National Holocaust Day on February 27 marks the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Soviet troops. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves Finsbury Park Mosque in London, following the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand, as worshipers begin to arrive for the Friday prayer service.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to media after laying a wreath outside the New Zealand High Commission in Haymarket, London, in the aftermath of the mosque attacks in Christchurch.
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) leaves following a rally to mark 80 years since the Battle of Cable Street at St George's in the East on October 9, 2016 in London, England. Speakers including Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn join members of the Jewish community to commemorate the Battle of Cable Street, which, in 1936 saw antifascist protesters clash with police to block a demonstration by Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard with Jeremy Corbyn after making his keynote address at the Scottish Labour's Annual Conference in Caird Hall, Dundee.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressing Scottish Labour's Annual Conference in Dundee.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (right) is joined by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on a rooftop overlooking the former Holloway Prison site, as they announced it will be acquired by Peabody Housing Association.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen with flowers during the fourth Visit My Mosque Day at Finsbury Park Mosque in North London. Over 250 mosques open their doors to non-Muslim guests and visitors on the fourth Visit My Mosque Day. This year the national event also encourages mosques to support Keep Britain Tidy's Great British Spring Clean campaign with many already taking part in cleaning their communities. Later a man thought to be a pro-Brexit campaigner was arrested after he pressed down an egg on Jeremy Corbyn�s head. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen arriving at Finsbury Park Mosque in North London for the fourth Visit My Mosque Day. Over 250 mosques open their doors to non-Muslim guests and visitors on the fourth Visit My Mosque Day. This year the national event also encourages mosques to support Keep Britain Tidy�s Great British Spring Clean campaign with many already taking part in cleaning their communities. Later a man thought to be a pro-Brexit campaigner was arrested after he pressed down an egg on Jeremy Corbyn�s head. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a rally at Voluntary Action in Beeston, which falls in Independent MP Anna Soubry's constituency of Broxtowe.
Jeremy Corbyn MP Leader of Labor Party is seen speaking during the 2019 National Manufacturing Conference in Queen Elizabeth II Center. The conference addresses the difficulties and challenges the manufacturing sector will face post-Brexit. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London.
File photo dated 24/09/18 of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (right) and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who have both published their tax returns. Mr Corbyn has issued a challenge to Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond to publish their tax returns, as he made his public for the fourth year in succession.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn poses for a selfie after a speech at the Labour local government conference at The Slate, Warwick Conferences, Coventry.
Embargoed to 2200 Wednesday February 06 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn signs a letter he has written to Prime Minister Theresa May laying out Labour's five Brexit demands before she goes to Brussels tomorrow.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Derbyshire to discuss cuts to bus services.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talking to a bus driver in Nottingham before a visit to Ilkeston, Derbyshire to discuss cuts to bus services.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking at St Mary�s in the Castle during a visit to Hastings in East Sussex.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting staff on the surgical ward during a visit to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting community nurses and staff on a medical ward during a visit to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Brexit during a visit to OE Electrics in Wakefield.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn takes a selfie with staff member Russ Whitehouse during a visit to OE Electrics in Wakefield.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Brexit during a visit to OE Electrics in Wakefield.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre) joins protestors outside Kings Cross St Pancras station in London to highlight 'rising rail fares and falling standards of service on Britain's railways' as part of Labour's Rail Action Day.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outside Kings Cross St Pancras station in London to highlight 'rising rail fares and falling standards of service on Britain�s railways' as part of Labour�s Rail Action Day.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The Labour leader said in a statement: "Jeremy Corbyn's actions in response to the EHRC report undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party's ability to tackle anti-Semitism.

"In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review."

Sir Keir's decision was welcomed by those who hoped to draw a line under the Corbyn era, but prompted an angry response from members who remain loyal to the former leader.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the action was "just plain wrong" and would cause "more division and disunity in the party".

Diane Abbott, who served as shadow home secretary under Mr Corbyn, said removing the whip "raises serious questions of due process".

Fellow former shadow cabinet minister Richard Burgon said: "Jeremy should immediately have the whip restored. At a time of national crisis, division in the Labour party serves nobody but the Tory Gov't."

Andrew Scattergood, chairman of the Corbyn-supporting grassroots activist movement Momentum, accused Sir Keir of "making it up as he goes along", describing the decision as a "blatant political attack on the left".

Momentum founder Jon Lansman said the move not to restore the whip had "driven a coach and horses through the party's disciplinary process, making it subservient to the parliamentary party and embedding "political interference".

Those on social media were quick to condemn the move.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS