Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-Bailey
Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-BaileyUK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

Former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been formally barred by the party from running as a Labour candidate in the next election.

The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) approved a motion from Labour leader Keir Starmer to not endorse Corbyn as a candidate. The measure was approved 22 to 12, Sky News reported.

Corbyn, who served as Labour leader before Starmer, was removed as the party whip and has been sitting as an independent MP since October 2020 – when he alleged that Labour’s internal issues with antisemitism during his tenure that led to a wide ranging investigation were “dramatically overstated” by his political opponents. But he has remained a member of the party.

In January 2020, Corbyn and his supporters within Labour’s NEC attempted to have the parliamentary whip reinstated to the former leader, but it was voted down.

Corbyn was suspended from Labour following the publication of a report compiled by the Equality and Human Rights Commission which found numerous cases where the party leadership under Corbyn underplayed, belittled or ignored complaints by Jewish members, and sometimes actively interfered to support political allies.

He was reinstated by Labour after appearing to apologize for disparaging the report, but Starmer said he would deny Corbyn the party whip even after his suspension was lifted.

The passage of the motion means that if Corbyn were to run again in his Islington North constituency, which he has represented for 40 years and where he continues to have significant support, he would either have to join another party or run as an independent.

Corbyn did not give any indication about his next move but did accuse Starmer ahead of the NEC vote of “undermining the party’s internal democracy,” according to Sky.