Sir Keir Starmer has told Jeremy Corbyn his ‘days as a Labour MP are over’ as he reacted with anger to his predecessor’s failure to call Hamas a terror group.
As he declared that Mr Corbyn will never again represent Labour in the House of Commons, Sir Keir said: ‘He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election.’
Sir Keir suspended Mr Corbyn as a Labour MP in 2020 over his predecessor’s claim that the scale of antisemitism in the party had been ‘overstated for political reasons’.
He has since moved to block Mr Corbyn from standing as a Labour candidate at the next general election in action that saw the left-winger branded an electoral liability.
Sir Keir’s latest condemnation of the former Labour leader follows Mr Corbyn’s refusal to acknowledge Hamas as terrorists in an explosive TV interview this week.
In a fiery clash with TalkTV host Piers Morgan, Mr Corbyn refused to answer a question on whether Hamas is a terrorist group 15 times.
Sir Keir Starmer has told Jeremy Corbyn his ‘days as a Labour MP are over’ as he reacted with anger to his predecessor’s failure to call Hamas a terror group
In a fiery clash with TalkTV host Piers Morgan this week, Mr Corbyn refused to answer a question on whether Hamas is a terrorist group 15 times
Sir Keir was quizzed about Mr Corbyn’s TV interview during an appearance on the The News Agents podcast.
Asked whether his predecessor’s comments would bar him ever standing as a Labour MP again, Sir Keir said: ‘He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election. His days as a Labour MP are over. We have a changed party.
‘I was taken aback and shocked [by the interview] as I think anybody else would have been.
‘It reaffirmed in me why it is so important to me and to this changed Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn does not sit as a Labour MP and will not be a candidate at the next election for the Labour Party.
‘That is how far we have changed as the Labour Party.’
Sir Keir has faced deep divisions in Labour since Hamas launched a terror attack on Israel on 7 October, which prompted the weeks-long military action by Israel in Gaza.
On Wednesday night, Sir Keir suffered a huge rebellion in the Commons as 56 of his MPs defied him and backed calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
He also lost 10 frontbenchers after they broke a three-line whip and disregarded Sir Keir’s orders not to support an immediate and complete cessation in hostilities.
The Labour leader said many of his party colleagues were going through ’emotional turmoil’ amid the conflict in the Middle East and were facing ‘terrible abuse’.
‘There’s been intense pressure, I think on lots of us in the last few weeks,’ Sir Keir added.
‘These were discussions I was having with colleagues on Wednesday, because in addition to the emotional turmoil that those people are going through, some of them rebelled.
‘But they’re good people trying to deal with a very difficult situation, on top of all that, many of them have been subjected to terrible abuse.
‘And that is very difficult and concerns me on behalf of my colleagues that I was talking to trying to persuade to stay with the party line.
‘They were facing the most incredibly difficult circumstances. Circumstances they probably haven’t faced previously in their public life.’
Sir Keir has stuck to a stance of wanting humanitarian ‘pauses’ – rather than a full ceasefire – during the Middle East crisis, and has repeatedly stated his support for Israel’s right to self-defence in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
During the podcast, he insisted he was ‘undaunted’ by potentially becoming Britain’s next prime minister.
Sir Keir said his ‘only concern’ was for his family, adding: ‘I’ve always been concerned about them.
‘I’ve got a wife who has her own life and I need to ensure that she can live her life in the way that she wants to.
‘I’ve got two children, I’ve got a 15-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl. And my biggest concern is, about the only concern I have going forward is, asking myself over and over again, particularly at the moment, how do I protect them as we go into this.’
* Listen to Sir Keir Starmer’s full interview on The News Agents podcast this evening on Global Player