Jeremy Corbyn labels Keir Starmer a 'disgrace' over Israel-Gaza stance

30 October 2023, 19:13 | Updated: 30 October 2023, 19:21

Jeremy Corbyn speaking to LBC's Andrew Marr on Monday
Jeremy Corbyn speaking to LBC's Andrew Marr on Monday. Picture: Getty/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has told LBC that Sir Keir Starmer is a "disgrace" due to his position on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

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Mr Corbyn, who now sits as an independent MP after having the Labour whip removed, has been a vocal critic of his party's position on the war, as he reiterated calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Asked whether he thought Starmer was a 'disgrace' for telling LBC's Nick Ferrari that Israel has the right to withhold water and electricity from Gaza, and for his overall stance on the war, Mr Corbyn replied: "Yes."

"Listen, we need to move forward, we need to look for peace, we need to look for a way forward on this," Mr Corbyn told LBC's Andrew Marr.

"Killing has a legacy that goes on for decades and decades, and creates the hate of tomorrow."

Len McCluskey and Jeremy Corbyn deem Keir Starmer a 'disgrace' for stance on Israel-Gaza creasfire

It comes after the suspension of a senior Labour MP for using the phrase 'between the river and the sea' at a pro-Palestine rally in London over the weekend.

Andy McDonald, the MP for Middlesbrough, used the phrase as he called for peace amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

"We won't rest until we have justice, until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty," he said.

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A Labour spokesperson said: "The comments made by Andy McDonald at the weekend were deeply offensive, particularly at a time of rising antisemitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety."

Mr Corbyn, who was leader of the Labour party between 2015 and 2019, told LBC he was "very disappointed" by his former party's decision.

"I know Andy very well, I worked with him very closely for a very long time, he was at the rally on Saturday. He was speaking up in support of the people of Gaza, the Palestinian people," Mr Corbyn said.

"He was also speaking about the concept of hope for all of the people, Israelis and Palestinians in the long-term future."

Keir Starmer joins Nick Ferrari at Breakfast | Watch Again

Sir Keir has faced a growing mutiny over his comments made on LBC several weeks ago, in which he said Israel 'has the right' to withhold water and electricity from Gaza.

He later clarified his comments, insisting that he was responding to a question about Israel's right to defend itself and has since called for humanitarian pauses and more aid to be let into Gaza.

His reluctance to call for a ceasefire, as well as his comments made on LBC, has caused a backlash among Labour politicians.

That includes a number of shadow ministers, including loyalist Jess Phillips, who retweeted a statement from UN Chief Antonio Guterres, in which he reiterated calls for a ceasefire.

Ms Phillips joined other senior dissenters in speaking out, despite the Labour party's stance, including including Andy Burnham, the Manchester mayor, and Anas Sarwar, the party’s Scottish leader, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.