Politics

Keir Starmer humiliation as Labour Party membership plummets by 57,000 amid Corbyn chaos

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According to the party’s internal elections figures, membership has fallen by nearly 57,000 people between April and November. Sir Keir was elected leader of the party in April this year, succeeding Mr Corbyn.

In contrast, the former Labour head oversaw a surge in new members. The current figures mark the first time the party has had less than 500,000 members since 2016.

It follows Mr Corbyn’s recent suspension from the party over comments he made regarding a report in anti-Semitism within Labour.

The former leader said: “Antisemitism is absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes.

“One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. “

The decision to suspend Mr Corbyn sparked backlash from party members, dozens of whom took to social media to announce they were quitting.

Mr Corbyn has since been reinstated into the party, though Sir Keir continued to criticise the former leader’s comments.

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He said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s statement in response to the EHRC report was wrong and completely distracted from a report that identified unlawful conduct in our tackling of racism within the Labour Party. This should shame us all.”

Mr Corbyn said he was “pleased” to have been readmitted to the Labour Party.

He added: “Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.”

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Meanwhile, sources have urged Labour supporters not to leave the party in droves.

One ‘source on the left’ told The Times the recent exodus from the party “shows the level of discontent with Kier”.

However, they also warned members to “stay and fight rather than handing over the party on a plate”.

The paper added that Sir Keir could more easily exert control on the party following the departure of Mr Corbyn’s supporters – though it could also hit the party’s income.

At the time of Labour’s national executive committee elections two weeks ago, the party had 495,961 members.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader is soon due to face the results of an inquiry into infighting within the party.

Due in a matter of weeks potentially, the independent inquiry aims to probe a party report which was leaked last year.

That report claimed infighting within Labour and challenges to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership had hurt the party’s 2017 election campaign and also hampered efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.

It pointed to “a hyper-factional atmosphere” prevailing within the party which “appears to have affected” disciplinary complaints.

Insiders are now said to be concerned about the direction of the report, which has apparently taken on “a life of its own”.

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