Jeremy Corbyn faces years in wilderness as Labour Party return 'almost impossible' after Keir Starmer powerplay
Keir Starmer has made reinstatement "virtually impossible" for the former Labour leader, Professor Curtice says
Jeremy Corbyn’s future with the Labour Party is in tatters, according to political scientist John Curtice who deemed his chances of reinstatement “virtually impossible”.
Professor Curtice squashed any reports of the former Labour leader’s return in an interview with GB News, saying his predecessor Sir Keir Starmer has ensured there is no route back.
Mr Corbyn was stripped of the party whip in October 2020 after refusing to accept the findings of a damning antisemitism report.
The investigation, published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, concluded the opposition party breached the Equality Act during Mr Corbyn’s time at the helm.
It accused the Labour Party of political interference in antisemitism complaints and said it was responsible for “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” and cited “serious failings in leadership".
Mr Corbyn suggested the scale of antisemitism in the party which was under his leadership for five years, was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” – a statement that plunged the party into turmoil and led to his suspension.
Sir Keir initially left the door open for Mr Corbyn, suggesting his predecessor could obtain readmission by rescinding his remarks regarding antisemitism.
According to Prof Curtice, this door has now been firmly shut.
The professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Jeremy Corbyn is no longer a member of the Labour Party and I suspect he is never going to be readmitted to the Labour Party. Kier Starmer has made that virtually impossible for him."
His comments come after Mr Corbyn, a long-time NATO sceptic, signed a Stop the War Coalition statement.
The move was described by party seniors as a “further hurdle” in his quest for party readmission.
11 other Labour MPs also added their names supporting the letter that refuted the idea “NATO is a defensive alliance" and that it should “should call a halt to its eastward expansion and commit to a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples”.
The MPs, including former frontbenchers Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Richard Burgon and Ian Lavery, swiftly withdrew their signatures after their party's chief whip Sir Alan Campbell said they faced losing the whip.
When asked if Sir Keir's crackdown on MPs was reasonable, Prof Curtice told GB News that “there are limits to what all leaders can do and to judge on what is reasonable to do".
He continued: “You have to decide to what extent you are willing to go and what is what is a reasonable licence for MPs to have.
“Equally, one could say, is Boris Johnson going to throw out of the Conservative Party, every MP who says that he should stand out?"
Prof Curtice said Sir Keir has made the Labour Party’s stance on the Ukraine crisis clear.
He said: “I don't think the public are going to associate Sir Keir Starmer anymore with the attendance of a small number of MPs at a rally, MPs who he's already very clearly on the record for having criticised their stance.”
A Labour spokesperson has also said: “With Keir Starmer’s leadership there will never be any confusion about whose side Labour is on – Britain, Nato, freedom and democracy – and every Labour MP now understands that.”
Some of Mr Corbyn’s supporters believe the former leader can still retain his Islington North seat as an independent MP.
He is reportedly considering re-launching his Peace and Justice Project Charity as a political party.
A spokesman for the Peace and Justice project said there were as yet “no plans” for it to become a party.
Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said he “wants to see a Labour Party and government that is serious about shifting wealth and power from the few to the many”.