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‘We won't let you abandon Palestinians,’ Corbyn tells Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir will reportedly delay recognising the Palestinian state to appease the US

JEREMY CORBYN yesterday told Sir Keir Starmer “we won’t let you abandon the Palestinian people” after it emerged that he would delay recognising the Palestinian state to appease the US should Labour win this week’s general election.

At an election rally in Islington North, the former Labour leader took aim at his decision.

Addressing campaigners at a rally in Finsbury Park, Mr Corbyn said: “We must recognise the state of Palestine. Not some time in the future. Not when the time is right. Now.”

Sir Keir’s decision comes despite his party committing in its manifesto to recognise a Palestinian state before peace talks between Israel and Hamas are finished.

He is said to have concluded it would put Britain out of lockstep with the US and that he could ignore the huge nationwide support for Palestinian statehood in light of his commanding position in the polls.

A source told the Times that recognition of Palestine would “have the most impact” if done “in co-ordination with allies.”

Yesterday Mr Corbyn criticised both the Tories and Labour, saying that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would be “remembered for his political and moral cowardice over Gaza.”

He warned an incoming Labour government that “we won’t let you abandon the Palestinian people” or “turn a blind eye to genocide.”

Labour policy was for the immediate recognition of the state of Palestine under Mr Corbyn’s leadership and that of his predecessor Ed Miliband.

Now standing as an independent candidate in Islington North after being barred from standing for Labour, he vowed to use his voice in Parliament to demand an immediate ceasefire, the implementation of the International Court of Justice rulings and arrest warrants and an end to arms sales to Israel.

“A powerful movement of ordinary people is growing around the country,” he said.

“It is a remarkable unity of communities supporting the Palestinian people, of all faiths and none, united together in pursuit of peace.

“As your independent voice in Parliament, I will do what I’ve always done, and speak up for human rights for everyone, everywhere.”

Mr Corbyn told the rally  that Palestine “is on the ballot in Islington North… if you want an MP that stands up for Palestine and opposes the genocide in Gaza, then vote Independent on July 4.”

It comes after 72 Islington North Labour members announced they will be resigning to campaign for Mr Corbyn.

The lifelong socialist was suspended by Labour in 2020 after saying anti-semitism during his leadership of the party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”

Labour’s national executive later said he would not be allowed to stand again for the party.

Yesterday Mr Corbyn, who has been the constituency’s MP for more than 40 years, said: “I am incredibly grateful for the support of local people.

“We believe in democracy — and we have to stand up for our rights, our community and the values we share.

“I may be standing as an independent, but I’m here to represent the people of Islington North with the same principles I’ve had my entire life: equality, democracy and peace.”

A spokeswoman for Momentum said: “With the death toll in Gaza reaching 37,000, it shameful that Keir Starmer has decided to delay recognition of Palestine under the next Labour government.

“There’s no time for dithering. We need Labour to recognise a Palestinian state, call for a full and immediate ceasefire in Gaza, stand against Israeli arms sales and condemn the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

The Labour leader has faced heavy criticism for endorsing Israel’s war.

In November last year, 10 shadow ministers, including Naz Shah, Paul Barker and Afzal Khan, and parliamentary aides broke ranks to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Some 56 Labour members defied a three-line whip and backed an amendment to the King’s Speech.

Labour was contacted for comment.

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