Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-Left backers vow to set up breakaway ‘Old Labour’ rebel party after former leader was suspended over anti-Semitism row
- The radical call was made by the party’s former frontbencher Chris Williamson
- He said Labour was ‘dead as a vehicle for socialism…for progressive change
- Mr Corbyn was suspended after appearing to undermine bombshell report
Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-Left followers have vowed to set up a new breakaway party after the former leader’s suspension by Sir Keir Starmer over his handling of the antisemitism row.
The call for an ‘Old Labour’ party was made by Chris Williamson, a former frontbencher who was himself suspended from the party for saying Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ over the problem.
Mr Williamson told Russia Today that the Labour Party was ‘dead as a vehicle for socialism, as a vehicle for progressive change in this country, as a vehicle for ethical foreign policy’.
The call for an ‘Old Labour’ party was made by Chris Williamson, a former frontbencher who was himself suspended from the party for saying Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ over the antisemitism issue
He also branded Sir Keir ‘a joke’ and claimed there was ‘no point in flogging a dead horse – the Labour Party’s dead’.
Speaking in the wake of Mr Corbyn’s shock suspension, the former MP called for either ‘a breakaway Labour Party’ or a ‘new grassroots movement’.
His appeal emerged as fellow Left-winger Ian Lavery, the Labour chairman under Mr Corbyn, warned that MPs sympathetic to the former leader were considering quitting the party amid fears that Sir Keir was poised to unleash ‘a purge of the Left’.
But former Cabinet Minister David Miliband savaged Mr Corbyn’s record, branding him ‘the most disastrous Labour leader in our history’.
Mr Corbyn was suspended after appearing to undermine last week’s bombshell antisemitism report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found Labour responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination during his four-and-a-half years at the helm.
To the fury of Sir Keir and his bid to restore relations with Jewish groups, Mr Corbyn claimed the scale of antisemitism within Labour had been ‘dramatically overstated’ by opponents.
Mr Corbyn (pictured on Thursday) was suspended after appearing to undermine last week’s bombshell antisemitism report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission
Last night there were signs of a split on the Left, with some considering a legal challenge against the suspension decision and others privately pleading with Mr Corbyn to defuse the row by backing down.
One senior MP told The Mail on Sunday: ‘That’s the way out because there’s no way Starmer will back off – he’s the leader, for God’s sake.’
Corbynistas are thought to be planning a legal challenge, claiming even the EHRC acknowledged that Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights would protect party members from expressing a view on the scale of antisemitism within Labour.
However, hopes of Corbyn supporters using a fundraising page now worth over £360,000 to finance a challenge appeared to be dashed yesterday.
Carole Morgan, who set the page up in July to help the ex-leader fight defamation claims, said the fund had to be used for its original purpose.