Labour Left ‘spent horses’ as Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes crushed

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Many of Mr Corbyn’s socialist allies are “spent horses”, a political expert has told It comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer refused to restore the whip to Mr Corbyn. The former leader was reinstated as a member to the party by the National Executive Committee (NEC) – but had yet to be alerted whether he would resume his parliamentary responsibilities.

Mr Corbyn stopped short of apologising for his comments in light of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report which found that, under his leadership, Labour had been responsible for “unlawful” harassment and discrimination.

He said the “scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media,” but later doubled down ahead of his investigation after he issued a statement saying he regretted any “pain” caused by his comments.

Sir Keir’s move will appease a number of groups who had pressured him not to reinstate Mr Corbyn.

The debacle has thrown into question how Labour’s socialist faction will fare in the future.

Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University, told that many of Mr Corbyn’s allies are now “spent horses” and have failed in having their go at implementing a socialist agenda.

He said: “When we’re talking about particular senior allies of Corbyn – Len McCluskey (Unite the Union’s General Secretary) for example, he’s retiring soon, so he’s not got long in his role.

“The likes of Diane Abbott and John McDonnell have been around a long time, a very long time.

“They’re not necessarily on the point of retirement but they are to some extent, really, spent horses.

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“I think a lot of people in the party feel they’ve had their go and blown it.

“And while they’re listened to and are to some extent box office, I’m not sure how seriously they’ll be taken by many of their colleagues and indeed some members of the party.”

It is true that many of Mr Corbyn’s allies have lost their influence in the party – both Ms Abbott and Mr McDonnell are no longer in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet, as well as Rebecca Long-Bailey being sacked by Sir Keir earlier this year.

Yet, there are grassroots groups and younger individuals who appear to be rising to at least some prominence in the party.


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Labour’s NEC results last week, although split down the middle, did hint at some socialist uprising.

Laura Pidcock, who served as Shadow Secretary of State for Employment under Mr Corbyn, won the second highest number of votes in the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) vote.

In response to his decision, Sir Keir 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 antisemitism.

“In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

“I will keep this situation under review.

“The disciplinary process does not have the confidence of the Jewish community. That became clear once again yesterday.

“It is the task of my leadership to fix what I have inherited.

“That is what I am resolute in doing and I have asked for an independent process to be established as soon as possible.”

Mr Corbyn’s allies were furious at this.

Mr McCluskey took to Twitter to slam the “vindictive and vengeful actions which despoils Party democracy”.

He added: “The continued persecution of Jeremy Corbyn, a politician who inspired millions, by a leadership capitulating to external pressure on Party procedures risks destroying the unity and integrity of the Party. I urge Keir Starmer in the strongest terms to pull back from the brink.”

The trade unionist has previously suggested doomsday might be on the horizon for the Labour Party as a result of Sir Keir’s decisions around Mr Corbyn, claiming the suspension risked throwing the party into “chaos” and that it would cost Sir Keir the next election.

Similarly, Mr McDonnell said the move was “just plain wrong” and would cause “more division and disunity in the party”.

Meanwhile, the Board of Deputies of British Jews president, Marie van der Zyl, said Sir Keir had “taken the appropriate leadership decision”, adding Mr Corbyn had been “shameless and remorseless for what he has put the Jewish community through”.

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