Trade unions must take action to restore the whip to Corbyn

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Crowds in Hyde Park express their jubilation on hearing the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader in September 2015

TWENTY seven Labour MPs have signed a statement from the Socialist Campaign Group describing Labour leader Keir Starmer’s decision not to readmit Jeremy Corbyn to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) as ‘wrong and damaging’ and saying the decision should be swiftly reversed.

Their statement reads: ‘Wednesday’s decision to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour Party was the correct one and should be implemented across all levels of the party.

‘In light of this, the decision to not restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn is wrong and damaging to the Labour Party.

‘This decision and the division it causes severely undermines efforts to unite to defeat anti-Semitism and fully implement the EHRC recommendations and to challenge and defeat this disastrous Conservative government. It should be swiftly reversed.’

Signed (32 names):

Diane Abbott MP, Tahir Ali MP, Paula Barker MP, Apsana Begum MP, Olivia Blake MP, Christine Blower, Pauline Bryan, Richard Burgon MP, Ian Byrne MP, Dan Carden MP, Katy Clark, Mary Foy MP, John Hendy, Rachel Hopkins MP, Kim Johnson MP, Ian Lavery MP.

Clive Lewis MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, John McDonnell MP, Ian Mearns MP, Navendu Mishra MP, Grahame Morris MP, Kate Osamor MP, Kate Osborne MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Zarah Sultana MP, Jon Trickett MP, Claudia Webbe MP, Mick Whitley MP, Nadia Whittome MP, Beth Winter MP.

Unite the trade union has given over £7 million to the Labour Party this year. In October Unite decided to cut its contribution by 10% over the direction Labour’s new leader Keir Starmer is taking the party.

Yesterday, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘I am astonished at the decision to withdraw the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) whip from Jeremy Corbyn.

‘This is a vindictive and vengeful action which despoils Party democracy and due process alike, and amounts to overruling the unanimous decision of the NEC panel Wednesday to readmit Jeremy to the Party.

‘This action gives rise to double jeopardy in the handling of the case and shows marked bad faith.

‘The unity of the Party around the need to implement the EHRC recommendations in full is being recklessly undermined.

‘The continued persecution of Jeremy Corbyn, a politician who inspired millions, by a leadership capitulating to external pressure on Party procedures risks destroying the unity and integrity of the Labour Party.

‘I urge Keir Starmer in the strongest terms to pull back from the brink. This looks to me very much as a witch-hunt and persecution of a decent man.’

Dave Wiltshire secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance (ATUA) commented: ‘What these leaders ignore is the fact that Starmer is not interested in “unity” with Corbyn or the trade unions only with unity with the Tories.

‘By purging Labour of even the mention of socialism Starmer is preparing to take the Labour Party into a national government with the Tories. Appeals for Starmer to pull back and offers to work with him betray not just Corbyn but the entire working class.

‘Unions who donate millions every year to support the Labour Party must now suspend all payments until Corbyn is reinstated.’

Meanwhile, leading Labour right-wingers are approaching millionaires who were sympathetic to Blair’s New Labour to try to get alternative sources of funds.