Keir Starmer revealed in an interview on Friday that he had not spoken to Jeremy Corbyn since October last year. It is over a year since Labour’s former leader was suspended from the party because of his response to the report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission on antisemitism in the party. While condemning antisemitism as “abhorrent”, Corbyn said: “The scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”
Corbyn and his supporters refuse to accept that these words seek to diminish the seriousness of the problem or to disown Corbyn’s responsibility for it when he was leader. A Labour disciplinary panel agreed with him, after Corbyn issued a further statement saying that “concerns” about antisemitism were neither “exaggerated nor overstated”. It ended his suspension after three weeks.
However, Starmer and Nick Brown, the Labour chief whip, then suspended him from the Parliamentary Labour Party, insisting that he should apologise for his initial reaction to the EHRC report. So far, Corbyn has refused.
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