Former Labor MP Thelma Walker, former parliamentary assistant to Dodds’ predecessor as shadow chancellor John McDonnell, said on Wednesday that she had resigned from the party in protest at Starmer’s treatment of Corbyn.
Walker, who lost his seat in the 2019 election, tweeted: “Tonight I attended my branch meeting and resigned from my Labor membership. It has been a privilege to serve as a Labor MP for Colne Valley, to be John McDonnell’s PPS and to work with Jeremy Corbyn as a Labor leader. I will continue to work for the greatest number and not for a few. ”
Corbyn has been suspended for comments he made following a report by the Equality Watchdog on anti-Semitism within the party. He said: “The scale of the problem has also been dramatically overestimated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.
He was re-admitted to the party 19 days later after a panel of the National Labor Executive Committee (NEC) agreed to give the former leader a formal warning and restore his party membership, but Starmer said he would not allow Corbyn to sit as a Labor MP. Starmer said Corbyn’s position will be kept under review.
Dodds said the Equality and Human Rights Commission concluded the disciplinary process was not fit for purpose and should be replaced with an independent system, which the party said it would implement. artwork.
“It is a matter of great regret and shame for my party to have found that we are missing. We have to fix this system. It cannot remain as a politicized system. Keir Starmer is committed to changing it and… we are now under a legal obligation, ”she told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
Dodds said the decision to readmit Corbyn into the previous system “indicates that this process is not the right one, it is not the one we need … We have six weeks to respond to this report and much of it. the answer will be around the establishment of a new process, totally independent, in which everyone can have confidence by including the Jewish community ”.
MP Margaret Hodge, parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labor movement, who reportedly told Starmer she would resign from the party on Tuesday evening after the initial decision to readmit Corbyn, said the refusal to return the whip to Corbyn “has gone a long way in restoring its credibility ”.
“The terrible truth is that he [Corbyn] is constantly being at the center of the argument, ”she told Today.
“What we need to root out is anti-Semitism, and as long as he is one of the individuals who refuses to accept the extent of anti-Semitism within the party, who constantly says that people like me have been politically motivated and attack him personally instead. to attack the anti-Semitism which it expressly tolerates and has allowed to spread throughout the party – that is really the problem.
A fierce battle also rages behind closed doors, with Starmer accused of “bad faith” by Unite leader Len McCluskey, who his allies say was involved in negotiating a deal he and others said. thought they would allow the former leader to sit as a Labor MP. again.
Several sources claim that conversations have taken place in recent weeks between Corbyn representatives and key figures in Starmer’s office, including his chief of staff, Morgan McSweeney.
Corbyn’s side believed that the outcome of these negotiations was that the NEC would impose a lesser sanction on Corbyn and the case would be closed. They claim that the “clarification” issued by Corbyn earlier this week was agreed with Starmer’s office.
However, a source from Starmer’s office insisted that “there was no deal”. They said Corbyn was repeatedly asked to withdraw his comments last month – and that his allies were simply “lobbying” for his readmission to the party.