Jeremy Corbyn barred from rejoining UK Labour Party

The opposition leader for the better part of the 2010s was suspended by the party in October 2020 after his party was accused of systematic antisemitism.

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn reacts after the General Election results of the Islington North constituency were announced (photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn reacts after the General Election results of the Islington North constituency were announced
(photo credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)

Jeremy Corbyn, a Labour Party MP and the United Kingdom’s former opposition leader from 2015-2020, was not reinstated as an MP in the party following a vote on Tuesday, international media reports.

Corbyn, from the left-leaning Labour Party, served as leader of the opposition for the better part of the 2010s. He was suspended by the party in October 2020 after stating that antisemitism in the party had been overstated for political reasons – as it was embroiled in accusations of organizational antisemitism. He has yet to be reinstated by his replacement as party whip, Keir Starmer, and lost his latest appeal on Tuesday morning.

Corbyn, who has been accused of antisemitism by many across the United Kingdom – including the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and former PM David Cameron – was initially suspended amid a party-wide review of antisemitic practices – such as 23 counts of inappropriate involvement in antisemitism complaints – by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

He publicly stated the allegations were "dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media" on a Facebook post and was suspended by the party shortly thereafter.

The former whip faced several charges of antisemitism during his nearly six-year tenure – most notably when he said that he was criticizing Zionists "in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people," which he followed up with: “They [British Jews] clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history and, secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

Former Chief Rabbi of England, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, said the remarks were "the most offensive statement made by a senior British politician" in 50 years.

Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer attend a general election campaign meeting in Harlow, Britain November 5, 2019 (credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer attend a general election campaign meeting in Harlow, Britain November 5, 2019 (credit: REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY)

Among other instances of antisemitism, Corbyn has defended a Muslim cleric who espoused “blood libels” about Jews, questioned the removal of an antisemitic mural, was reluctant to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, and wrote that finance was controlled "by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience" who "are in a unique position to control the policy of nations" in the foreword for a book.

Opinion polls show that the greater British public also believed Corbyn to be antisemitic, with a 2018 poll carried out by polling firm Survation, on behalf of the Jewish Chronicle, finding that belief among 86% of British Jews and 39% of the British public.