British Labour Expels Jeremy Corbyn

Sir Keir Starmer brings the tidings that his predecessor’s ‘days of influencing party policy are well and truly over.’

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Jeremy Corbyn joins the 14th national 'March for Palestine' on May 18, 2024 at London, England. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn from England’s Labor Party after he pledged to stand as an Independent for his longtime district, is a moment to celebrate. His banisher is the party’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer, who hopes to end 14 years of Tory rule when the country goes to the polls on, of all days, July 4. Now comes Mr. Starmer to renew his intention to “tear antisemitism out of our party by the roots.” President Biden, call your speechwriter.

Mr. Starmer tells Sky News that “Mr. Corbyn’s days of influencing Labour party policy are well and truly over.” Even those who never intend to vote for Labour’s left-leaning platform ought to be heartened. Mr. Corbyn’s departure from the party he led to defeat in 2019 was sealed when Mr. Starmer banned him from running as Labour’s candidate at Islington North. Polls suggest Mr. Starmer has his long awaited chance to accede to 10 Downing Street.

Mr. Corbyn tells the Islington Tribune that he intends to run on a ticket of “social justice, human rights, and peace.” Yet a look at his record discloses something like the inverse in triplicate. In 2019, for the first time in recorded history, all three major Jewish newspapers in Britain ran the same editorial urging their countrymen to deny him their vote. A survey found that 87 percent of British Jews believe him to be personally antisemitic.

One wonders what further proof that 13 percent seek. Mr. Corbyn has affiliated with members of Hamas and Hezbollah, honored the terrorist who butchered Israelis at the 1972 Olympics, celebrated a cartoonishly antisemitic mural, and declared that Zionists do not grasp “English irony.” This, from a man nobody is mistaking for P.G. Wodehouse. Antisemitism under Mr. Corbyn was as pervasive a flavoring of the English left as HP sauce on a fry up.

British Jews are hardly out of danger. The months since October 7 have featured an upsurge in antisemitism, as pro-Hamas sentiment has flourished in shocking fashion. Our Julie Burchill reports that these “London rallies are about tormenting the Jews — one of the oldest, most successful, and peaceful of immigrant communities in Britain. They are about envy more than indignation, blood-lust more than a desire for peace.”

Mr. Corbyn could yet keep his seat. The Guardian reports that “in the bustling, congested streets of his traditionally left-leaning constituency, seemingly everyone knows ‘Jeremy.’” At a local party meeting in the district last month, 98 percent of attendees backed a motion thanking Mr. Corbyn for his “commitment and service to the people.” They see him as a red comrade. He remains a member in good standing of the “21st Century International.

In respect of the election, we have written that “our sympathies are with the Tories, especially the ones whose commitment to Brexit has not wavered.” Prime Minister Johnson triumphed on that platform, thrashing Mr. Corbyn and bringing Labour to its knees. Mr. Johnson went astray, though, in his pursuit of big government and indulgence of Downing Street bacchanals during Covid lockdowns. Such failures set the stage for Mr. Starmer.

In that editorial warning Britons of Mr. Corbyn, the Jewish newspapers called the possibility of his elevation an “existential threat to Jewish life” in the country that elected Prime Minister Disraeli and sent Lionel de Rothschild to Parliament. Mr. Starmer’s example could stand as a lesson for, say, Mr. Biden and Senator Schumer, both prone to pay lip service to antisemitism but also to become tongue tied on naming the bigots in their own party.     

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