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Corbyn slams ban from standing again as part of broader assault on democracy

LABOUR’S internal war intensified today as former leader Jeremy Corbyn tied the party’s unprecedented decision to ban him from standing again to a broader assault on democratic rights.

At the same time his successor Sir Keir Starmer insisted on LBC radio that he had never supported or been friends with Mr Corbyn, whom he described as a “friend” when running for the leadership.

The Islington North MP, who was banned two weeks ago from being a Labour candidate in Islington North at the next election by the national executive committee (NEC), penned a piece in the Islington Tribune condemning the “insult to the millions of people who voted for our party in 2017 and 2019” as well as to those who supported Sir Keir’s leadership bid on the basis he would, as he claimed, maintain Mr Corbyn’s radical policies.

“At a time when the government is attacking our rights to strike, protest and vote, the Labour leadership should be defending democracy.”

But “if the Labour leadership is happy to denigrate its own party’s internal democracy, how will it treat democracy more broadly if it is given the chance to govern?”

Supporters’ group Islington Friends of Jeremy Corbyn said it welcomed the former leader’s “emphasis on democracy.

“The Labour Party leader has trampled on the democratic rights of party members and insulted the tens of thousands of Islington North residents who have re-elected Jeremy Corbyn over nearly 40 years.

“They want and choose him to represent them in Parliament because he’s a brilliant MP, a truthful, kind and honourable person, who listens to them.”

Sir Keir said on LBC that he had not supported the former leader in the 2015 or 2016 leadership contests and had joined the MPs’ revolt to unseat him in 2016 dubbed the “chicken coup.”

He again retracted his earlier claim to have been Mr Corbyn’s friend, which Mr Corbyn has also rejected.

Labour’s NEC decision to block Mr Corbyn from standing again has been condemned by the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, Momentum and numerous campaigning organisations and unions.

Last week Islington Trades Council passed a resolution calling on the NEC to reverse the ruling, praising him as an “outstanding MP” and pledging to “respect and support” any political choices forced on Mr Corbyn by Sir Keir’s actions.

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