Jeremy Corbyn 'set to run for election against Labour' as an independent in Islington North

23 May 2024, 15:49 | Updated: 23 May 2024, 15:50

Keir Starmer served under Jeremy Corbyn in the Shadow Cabinet
Keir Starmer served under Jeremy Corbyn in the Shadow Cabinet. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Jeremy Corbyn is set to run for election against Labour in his seat of Islington North.

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The former Labour leader, who lost the party whip for downplaying the extent of anti-Semitism in his party, will fight for his north London seat as an independent on July 4.

Mr Corbyn has been the MP for Islington North for over 40 years, most of those representing Labour - and he remains popular in the area and among local party activists.

He secured a majority of over 26,000 at the 2019 election.

Mr Corbyn is expected to announce his campaign later on Thursday, the Telegraph reported, which could prove a thorn in Labour's side as they seek to regain power after 14 years.

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn brands Starmer ban on him standing for Labour a 'flagrant attack' on democracy

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn accuses Keir Starmer of 'primary school stuff' after Labour leader says he's 'not my friend'

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Alamy

The party has not announced its own candidate for Islington North yet.

But a Labour source told the Times: "We are very happy to stand up and say that Keir’s predecessor will not be a Labour candidate whereas Rishi Sunak’s predecessor, who crashed the economy, will be a [Conservative] candidate and is still trying to be a backseat driver.

"So we are very happy to draw that comparison.”

Mr Corbyn was suspended in 2020 after said in response to a report on anti-Semitism in his party that while any anti-Jewish racism was "absolutely abhorrent" and that "one anti-Semite is one too many... 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".

Sir Keir Starmer on Jeremy Corbyn

Current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has since repeatedly tried to distance himself from Mr Corbyn's Labour, saying that he has changed the party.

Sir Keir unequivocally banned Mr Corbyn, who has already been kicked out of the party, from standing as a Labour candidate.

Mr Corbyn led Labour to defeat in the 2017 and 2019 general elections.

Ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and current leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons
Ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and current leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir served as Shadow Brexit Secretary under Mr Corbyn in the last General Election.

But he told LBC's Nick Ferrari last year that he wouldn't consider Mr Corbyn a friend, and that he hadn't spoken to his former leader for two and a half years.

Mr Corbyn said in response: "I don’t know why he says that. I worked with Starmer, he was in the shadow cabinet, went to Brussels with him. I worked with lots of people."

Discussing the relationship between Sir Keir and the former leader, Corbyn all Diane Abbott said they were always "friendly" and got along in the past aside from the topic of Brexit.

"Jeremy, in his heart of hearts, is a Brexiteer and Keir Starmer at that point was passionately pro-European," she told Global's The News Agents podcast.

She added: "Jeremy’s always been about uniting the party and he knew most party members were pro-European but himself, I would say, deep down, he was a Brexiteer."