Restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn, say Islington North constituents

By Islington Friends of Jeremy Corbyn

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the Labour whip being withheld from our Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn after his unjust suspension from the Party was overturned by the NEC.  

At the time, Labour leader Keir Starmer stated: “I have taken the decision not to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. I will keep this situation under review.”

Since then, there has been no elaboration about the basis on which this decision was taken, how it is being reviewed, nor any end date to the removal of the whip.

Islington North constituents have received no communication whatsoever about the status of our much loved and respected MP. As part of the 34,603 constituents who voted for Jeremy Corbyn as our Labour MP, we are angered and bewildered that the Labour Party has acted in such an arbitrary and undemocratic manner in refusing to restore the whip.

Jeremy Corbyn has tirelessly served Islington North as our Labour MP for the past 38 years. As both a backbencher and as leader, he has courageously spoken truth to power on issues like our NHS, austerity, climate justice, trade union rights, racism, gender inequality, immigration and war.

He has deep roots in the community and his constituency casework has radically improved the lives of many. His surgeries often extend well beyond official timings as he meets with constituents and helps sort out often complex and seemingly intractable issues. He frequently attends community events, visits schools and colleges and is patron of the Islington Pensioners Forum.  His second job is volunteer at the local foodbank.

On the doorstep, countless residents mention Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to help them resolve housing, immigration and a host of other problems.  Walking down the road with him is never a speedy affair as he stops and chats with constituents and business owners who greet him. All of this has created deep loyalty to our MP and the continued unjust withdrawal of the whip is acutely felt in Islington North.

However, wherever you live and whatever your politics, you should be concerned about the lack of process and indeed any reference to natural justice in the refusal to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn. Unfairly targeting an individual and suppressing legitimate questioning on the matter cannot be a substitute for developing inspiring policies and the hard graft of building consensus and Party unity.

But, as important as Jeremy Corbyn’s reinstatement is for the good of the Labour Party, the continued withdrawal of the whip is a violation of the wider contract between the Party and the voting public. It is an egregiously undemocratic action which ignores the votes of the thousands of Islington constituents who elected Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP.

This is a watershed moment for Labour. If we cannot rally to vigorously defend Jeremy Corbyn’s right to the Labour whip, then it is a clear signal that other arbitrary and anti-democratic Labour Party decisions will not be opposed.

Prominent figures in Labour, including Labour MPs, must use their platforms to demand the whip be restored and part of our campaign is to encourage them to do so. Restoring the whip is an essential step towards party unity – a prerequisite to winning power and achieving the social transformation that this country desperately needs.  

Labour Party members and supporters everywhere have a vital role to play in speaking out for Jeremy Crobyn. We ask that Keir Starmer listen to these voices as, after all, as Jeremy himself has said, “leadership is as much about using the ear as using the mouth.”  Make your voices heard and take part in the campaign to restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn!

What you can do:

  1. If you have a Labour MP, ask them to actively work for Jeremy’s reinstatement. A template letter can be found on our website
  • Tweet in the Twitterstorm on Thursday 18th November at 7pm using the hashtags #ReinstateJeremy Corbyn #Restorethewhip
  • If you are in London, join the #Cycle4Corbyn at Parliament Square on Thursday 18th November 6pm. Non-cyclists are welcome to cheer the cyclists on!

  • Share the statement by Jewish members of Islington North CLP in support of restoring the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Follow the Islington Friends of Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter @Islingotn4JC, Facebook @IslingtonFriendsOfJeremyCorbyn and Instagram @islingtonfriendsofjeremycorbyn and have a look at our website for further updates on the campaign and how you can help.

Image: Jeremy Corbyn. Source: Author: Chatham House, London, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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