LONDON — Three years after he quit as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn will on Tuesday be blocked from standing under its banner.
His successor as the U.K.’s opposition leader, Keir Starmer, has proposed a motion to his party’s ruling body that would prevent it selecting Corbyn as a Labour candidate in the next general election.
The motion is expected to pass. Supporters of the left-wing MP were once narrowly in control of the National Executive Committee (NEC), but are now easily outnumbered.
“It’s so long, farewell. Auf Weidersehen, goodbye,” a senior Labour MP told POLITICO.
The decision will reinflame a factional battle in the party. Corbyn, who has not yet confirmed his intentions should he be blocked, has not ruled out standing as an independent candidate.
Corbyn was suspended from the Labour whip by Starmer in 2020, after saying the scale of antisemitism cases in the party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”
But he has remained a member of the Labour Party, meaning he has continued to attend local party meetings in Islington North.
Today’s decision brings forward a battle over whether Corbyn will be allowed to stand as a Labour candidate in his London seat, which he has represented since 1983.
Several party officials and MPs had told POLITICO they expected selection of the Labour candidate to happen soon after local elections on May 4. Corbyn had been expected to put himself forward, and an NEC panel was then expected to bar him from the long list.
But Tuesday’s motion — which argues Labour’s “standing with the electorate in the country” will be “significantly diminished” if Corbyn is endorsed — will effectively block his selection from this week onward.
A senior Labour official said: “Keir Starmer has made clear that Jeremy Corbyn won’t be a Labour candidate at the next general election. The Labour Party now is unrecognisable from the one that lost in 2019. Tuesday’s vote will confirm this and ensure we can focus on our five missions to build a better Britain.”
But a spokesperson for the Corbyn-backing group Momentum said: “We utterly condemn this venal and duplicitous act from Keir Starmer, which further divides the Labour Party and insults the millions of people inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
“We urge all NEC representatives to reject this anti-democratic maneuver tomorrow — it should be for Islington North Labour members to decide their candidate, not a neighboring MP drunk on his own power.”