Calls Renewed for Expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn From UK Labour Party Amid Backlash Over Interview With Pro-Hezbollah Broadcaster
There were renewed calls on Monday for the expulsion by the British Labour Party of its former leader Jeremy Corbyn following an interview last week with a Lebanese broadcaster in which he argued that foreign leaders had conspired to undermine his leadership.
Corbyn, a far-left parliamentarian who led Labour between 2015-20, spoke with Al Mayadeen TV, a Lebanese channel that is closely aligned with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization. Asked about the successive antisemitism scandals that dominated his time at the party’s helm, he insisted that “the way I was dealt with in the Labour Party, and the allegations made against me were shameful.”
He went on to insinuate the his leadership had been targeted by a powerful international conspiracy. “I faced clear threats from some military figures when I was elected,” Corbyn said. “First, there were statements against me from Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, and a group of other personalities, and it showed me how strong the forces opposed to me were.”
Corbyn resigned as leader following Labour’s heavy defeat in the 2019 election, which saw the ruling Conservatives gain 80 seats in Britain’s House of Commons. In 2020, the new leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, suspended Corbyn from Labour’s parliamentary faction after the latter claimed that the scale of the antisemitism problem during his leadership term had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party.”
Corbyn is now facing calls for his expulsion from Labour as a result of the Al Mayadeen interview.
Ian Austin, a former Labour member of parliament who now sits in the House of Lords, told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that it was “unbelievable to hear Jeremy Corbyn repeating his conspiracy theories about powerful forces working against him within the Labour Party. Who could he be referring to? Just who is he blaming?”
Lord Austin asserted that “these sorts of dog-whistle references made on these sorts of TV channels show that he hasn’t changed at all. It’s time the Labour Party really did just boot him out properly — not just from the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party], but altogether.”
Austin was backed by Alex Hearn, director of the Labour Against Antisemitism pressure group, who said that Corbyn’s comments “show a complete lack of remorse for his actions which resulted in a racist and unelectable Labour Party. They are also arguably an antisemitic dog-whistle.”
A spokesperson for Labour condemned Corbyn’s remarks but did not comment directly on the calls for his expulsion.
“This interview is a further example of Jeremy Corbyn choosing to put himself in conflict with Labour Party policy. Keir Starmer has made it clear what he expects from Labour MPs and Jeremy Corbyn continues to act in a way that is incompatible with that,” the spokesperson said.
In the same interview, Corbyn demanded that western governments cease backing Ukraine in its efforts to roll back the ongoing Russian invasion, saying that “pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, it’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war.”