Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is reportedly being pushed by his political allies to enter the race for the next mayor of London in two years, UK media reported Friday.
"There are people who have encouraged him to run for mayor," one Corbyn ally told HuffPost UK, which first broke the story in an exclusive report.
"There are people who feel that given the Left’s progressive agenda through some of the metro mayors, having Jeremy do something similar in London would be a good axis. It’s not something he has ever said he has an appetite to do, but it has been discussed by people close to him."
"There are people who feel that given the Left’s progressive agenda through some of the metro mayors, having Jeremy do something similar in London would be a good axis. It’s not something he has ever said he has an appetite to do, but it has been discussed by people close to him."Jeremy Corbyn ally
Corbyn, Labour and antisemitism
Corbyn, a veteran British parliamentarian representing Islington North who has sat in the House of Commons since 1983, was formerly the leader of the UK Labour Party and leader of the opposition for several years. Going into the 2019 UK general elections, he was seen by many as the one destined to emerge victorious and become the next prime minister.
However, his hopes were dashed following a decisive loss to the Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson.
Even before this, however, Corbyn's campaign had been marred by severe accusations of antisemitism directed at him and the entire Labour Party under his leadership. These accusations are extensive, some of them having been public statements, and go back several years.
This was further supported by a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), though Corbyn himself denied the allegations and claimed they were "dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."
While Corbyn lost the leadership of Labour due to the election loss, it was the EHRC report and his refusal to apologize that saw his suspension from the Labour Party and the loss of the Labour whip courtesy of new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Starmer had further said that it is unlikely the whip could ever be restored, due in part to Corbyn having been outspoken in his views that the UK should leave NATO and that the military alliance in question should be disbanded.
Corbyn still sits in the House of Commons as an MP representing Islington North, but he does so as an independent and not as a member of the Labour Party - in fact, he is ineligible to run as a Labour candidate in the next general election too. This is despite having been reinstated to the Labour Party.
Despite this, he still retains a significant amount of support both from some politicians and from the general public.
Running for the London mayoral office
As Corbyn's ally told HuffPost UK, the man in question has never expressed the desire to run for the London mayoral office, the are reasons why many are pushing him in that direction. Specifically, this would be due in part to the race to be the next London mayor, a post currently helmed by Labour's Sadiq Khan, being "an easy win" for Corbyn.
This is due to Corbyn having a considerable base of leftwing support in the British capital.
Running as an independent, rather than as part of Labour, is something that would be challenging since he would lack the considerable support that would come from the backing of a party. However, it isn't impossible and has precedence, even in London.
Many of his allies also think that Corbyn could do considerable good as London's mayor and that he might as well try if he won't have the whip restored.
However, others fear that a Corbyn mayoral bid could result in splitting the left-wing vote, resulting in a Conservative Party candidate's victory and thus hope he doesn't try to run.
Currently, Corbyn himself hasn't said he would run, with his spokesperson telling HuffPost UK that he is currently focused on his duties as an MP.
It should be noted that the election is still two years away and anything can change, but right now, any possibility of Corbyn running for London mayor is hypothetical and not currently a decided move by the former Labour leader.