Len McCluskey warns of Labour split after shock anti-Semitism report

Revolt of the Corbynites: Red Len McCluskey and John McDonnell warn of Labour party split – and certain poll defeat – after shocking anti-Semitism report 

  • Union boss Len McCluskey leads calls for Starmer to reverse Corbyn suspension 
  • Mr McCluskey urged members to stay in the party rather than leave in protest
  • Ex-shadow chancellor John McDonnell called the suspension ‘profoundly wrong’

Union boss Len McCluskey last night warned Sir Keir Starmer that the move to suspend Jeremy Corbyn would spark chaos within Labour and consign it to defeat at the next election.

Mr McCluskey, leader of Unite, led calls for Sir Keir reverse the decision, calling it a ‘gross injustice’ as Mr Corbyn’s closest allies rallied around him.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell labelled Mr Corbyn’s suspension from the party ‘profoundly wrong’, while former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott retweeted a statement opposing his suspension.

Union boss Len McCluskey last night warned Sir Keir Starmer that the move to suspend Jeremy Corbyn would spark chaos within Labour and consign it to defeat at the next election

But amid fury from Mr Corbyn’s supporters and allies, Mr McClusky urged members to stay in the party rather than leave in protest, and Mr McDonnell and Miss Abbott called for calm and for ‘party unity’.

That came amid speculation that Corbyn supporters on the front bench were considering resigning, and that his supporters in the party were tearing up their membership cards.

Mr McCluskey said: ‘This was a day for our party to move forward as one to defeat the evil of anti-Semitism. However, the decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn has threatened that opportunity.

Amid fury from Mr Corbyn’s supporters and allies, Mr McClusky urged members to stay in the party rather than leave in protest, and Mr McDonnell and Miss Abbott called for calm and for ‘party unity’. Mr Corbyn is pictured above during a BBC interview about his suspension

‘The suspension appears to fly in the face of one of the important recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – and which Keir himself said he would implement in full and immediately – which is to remove the leader’s office from party investigations.

‘But it is also an act of grave injustice which, if not reversed, will create chaos within the party and in doing so compromise Labour’s chances of a general election victory. A split party will be doomed to defeat.’

Mr McDonnell – the former leader’s greatest political ally – took to Twitter to say: ‘On the day we should all be moving forward & taking all steps to fight anti-Semitism, the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn is profoundly wrong. In interests of party unity let’s find a way of undoing & resolving this.

‘I urge all party members to stay calm as that is the best way to support Jeremy and each other.’

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell labelled Mr Corbyn’s suspension from the party ‘profoundly wrong’, while former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott retweeted a statement opposing his suspension

Miss Abbott retweeted a statement by the Socialist Campaign Group of Left-wing MPs. It said it would ‘work tirelessly’ for Mr Corbyn’s reinstatement.

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson – himself suspended from the party following allegations of anti-Semitism – said: ‘It’s appalling that Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended by the Labour Party, but it should surprise no one.

‘Socialists in the Party must stop deluding themselves: this was always about destroying Jeremy and criminalising criticism of Israel.’

Former Labour general secretary Jennie Formby – who was in charge of dealing with anti-Semitism complaints in the leader’s office – admitted mistakes had been made and said she wished reforms could have been made more quickly.

The suspension also triggered a response from Momentum which campaigned on behalf of Mr Corbyn and MPs on the far Left of the party. 

‘It is a massive attack on the Left by the new leadership and should be immediately lifted in the interests of party unity,’ declared the group.

Some Labour members have said that they had resigned their membership in protest at the decision – though others said they had rejoined the party.

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