Jeremy Corbyn edges closer to High Court battle against Labour after he was suspended for claiming anti-Semitism in the party was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’
- Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from Labour in October over anti-semitism
- He had claimed the scale of the problem had been ‘dramatically overstated’
- Was reinstated as a member weeks later but blocked from sitting as Labour MP
- Former leader will now have pre-action disclosure application heard in court
Jeremy Corbyn will take the first step towards a High Court battle against Labour next week over his suspension from the parliamentary party.
The former opposition leader will have a pre-action disclosure application heard in London on Monday afternoon, court officials have said.
Lawyers for Mr Corbyn are expected to ask a judge for disclosure of documents ahead of a possible legal challenge over his suspension.
The case is expected to relate to the Islington North MP’s original suspension and the negotiation with the Leader of the Opposition’s office over the terms of his reinstatement.
Jeremy Corbyn, the former opposition leader, will have a pre-action disclosure application heard in London on Monday afternoon, court officials have said
It has previously been reported that they will seek evidence proving there was a deal with Sir Keir Starmer’s office to readmit him to the party.
Mr Corbyn was suspended from Labour in October for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’.
He later attempted to clarify his comments in a statement to the party, saying concerns about anti-Semitism were ‘neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated”‘.
Mr Corbyn was reinstated as a party member by the National Executive Committee following a meeting of a disciplinary panel three weeks after his suspension.
But his successor as party leader – Sir Keir – blocked him from sitting as a Labour MP, though said he would keep the decision not to restore the whip ‘under review’.
Sir Keir said in a statement at the time: ‘I’m the leader of the Labour Party, but I’m also the leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn was suspended from Labour in October for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’, but was reinstated weeks later. However, his successor Sir Keir Starmer blocked him from sitting as a Labour MP
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in response to the EHRC report undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle anti-Semitism.
‘In those circumstances, I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.’
It was revealed in November that the party’s chief whip, Nick Brown, asked Mr Corbyn to ‘unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation’ apologise for his comments.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Sir Keir had made the ‘appropriate leadership decision’ to withhold the whip from Mr Corbyn.
But John McDonnell, who served as shadow chancellor when Mr Corbyn was Labour leader, said Sir Keir’s decision was ‘just plain wrong’ and would cause ‘more division and disunity in the party’.
Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott also criticised the leadership’s decision, tweeting that withholding the whip ‘raises serious questions of due process’.