Jeremy Corbyn’s days as Labor MP ‘over’, says Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer said Jeremy Corbyn's “days as a Labor MP are over” as he condemned the former leader's repeated refusal to label Hamas a terrorist organization in an interview.

The Labor leader said his predecessor – who was stripped of the party whip in 2020 – “will not be a Labor MP at the next election or any election”.

Mr Corbyn was repeatedly interviewed on Talk TV Piers Morgan Uncensored program this week if he believed Hamas was a terrorist group.

But the independent MP for Islington North, an outspoken critic of Israel, repeatedly dodged the question and tried to move the debate forward.

Mr Corbyn later told Times Radio: “Of course [7 October] it was a terrorist attack and it was a terrible attack.”

Sir Keir – who served in Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet – said he was “surprised and shocked” by the left-wing figure's refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist outfit in the TalkTV interview.

“It confirmed in me why it is so important to me and to this changed Labor Party that Jeremy Corbyn will not be a Labor MP and will not stand for the next Labor election,” he continued. “This is how we have changed as a Labor Party.”

Asked if Mr Corbyn's interview with Morgan would prevent him from standing again for Labour, Sir Keir said: “He will not be a Labor MP at the next election or any election. His days as a Labor MP are over. We have a changed party.”

Hamas was responsible for the October 7 attack in Israel – killing 1,200 people and taking around 240 others hostage in raids that have sparked a bloody Middle East war. The Gaza leaders are banned as a terrorist group in the UK and support for them is prohibited.

Keir Starmer said Jeremy Corbyn would not return to the party

(PA file)

Corbyn ordered Labor out of parliament in October 2020 over its response to the equalities watchdog's report on anti-Semitism in the party during his time as leader. He is an independent MP but remains a Labor member.

Sir Keir faced a bruising week on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war – suffering a major rebellion in the Commons against the party's position to refuse to support a ceasefire.

The Labor leader – who backed Rishi Sunak's call for a “humanitarian pause” – had put his MPs on a three-line whip not to vote in favor of an SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire.

But 56 of his MPs defied the order – with 10 shadow ministers and parliamentary aides among them. Front benchers, including Jess Phillips, resigned or were fired as a result.

Sir Keir insisted there is no “unconditional support for Israel” as it strikes back at Hamas and urged that civilians and hospitals “must be protected” and international law respected.

Labor rebels who quit or were sacked in rebellion could still join Sir Keir's top team after the election, shadow defense secretary John Healey said.

Asked if the rebellion would rule them out of a ministerial post in a Labor government, Mr Healey said: “That's on the way” before insisting there was a “deeper unity” in the Labor party.

Other former shadow ministers now on the backbenches include Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan, Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Sarah Owen, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter.

Parliamentary private secretaries Dan Carden and Mary Foy, who worked with Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner, joined them in the walkout.

It comes as pro-Palestine protest organizers prepare for a national day of action on Saturday, instead of a major march in central London.

Direct action will take the form of more than 100 smaller rallies in various locations across the UK. Previous weekends have seen thousands of protesters and counter-protesters converge on the capital.

A spokeswoman for organizers Stop The War Coalition said Saturday's rallies come ahead of a national demonstration planned for next Saturday.