Keir Starmer explains decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn from Labour

30 October 2020, 09:58 | Updated: 30 October 2020, 10:01

By Fiona Jones

Sir Keir Starmer explained to LBC why he took the decision to suspend former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from the party.

Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from Labour on Thursday after his response to an investigation into anti-Semitism which found the party to have committed unlawful acts of discrimination against Jewish people.

The EHRC investigation found evidence of "political interference" by then leader Mr Corbyn's office in the complaints process.

Following the publishing of the damning report, the former leader claimed that Labour's anti-Semitism problem was "dramatically overstated for political reasons" - and Sir Keir Starmer confirmed it was these comments and the "failure to retract them" that led to his suspension.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Sir Keir outlined his desired response to the report, yet that "didn't go to plan" due to Jeremy Corbyn's statement.

Mr Starmer said: "I was very clear in my response to the report that the Labour Party I lead will not tolerate anti-Semitism, nor will it tolerate the argument that there isn't really any anti-Semitism, it's all exaggerated or factional, because that's part of the problem.

"On top of the grief that's already been caused, to respond to the report by saying 'oh well it's exaggerated, it's just factional stuff' adds to that grief and I made that very clear in my response.

"I had spoken to Jeremy Corbyn the night before the report and there'd been further conversations yesterday morning, so Jeremy's team knew very well where I was going with this - no anti-Semitism, no denial or minimising which is part of the problem, therefore when I saw his response I was really disappointed in that response to these very serious findings by an independent body."

Amid reported fears that Corbyn supporters may react to this move, the Labour leader denied a schism in the party and said there is "no need for a civil war" following the suspension.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days

Nick reacts to the cancellation of the Rwanda flight

'Who runs Britain?': Nick Ferrari slams 'lefty lawyers' for 'holding UK hostage'

Exclusive
High Court judge has ruled Archie's treatment should be stopped and his life support turned off

'He won't give up': Archie Battersbee's mum vows to fight ruling to end son's life

RMT boss can't rule out general strike and warns 'rich have never been richer'

RMT chief doesn't rule out general strike and says 'rich have never been richer'

Exclusive
The Prime Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Boris Johnson says he is 'bringing in tax cuts as fast as we can'

Exclusive
Boris Johnson defended the government's Rwanda migrant plans

'It’s the government’s job': PM hits back at Charles in Rwanda migrants flights row

Nick Ferrari baffled by anti-smoking watershed recommendation for films like Popeye

Nick Ferrari baffled by anti-smoking watershed recommendation for films like Popeye