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The Labour Party is reeling from a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which found the party was responsible for “unlawful” harassment and discrimination under Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure. The former Labour leader hit out at the report and claimed the anti-Semitism problem within the party had been “dramatically overstated” for political reasons.
Mr Corbyn also said he did not accept many of the reports findings.
He gave a press conference where he insisted: “I’m not part of the problem”.
The Labour Party took swift action against its former leader for making the comments and decided to suspend him from the party and remove the Labour whip.
A spokesperson for the party said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.
“He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Having the whip removed means he is no longer part of Labour within Parliament and now sits as an independent MP.
Mr Corbyn has said he strongly opposes his suspension.
He wrote on Twitter: “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me.
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“I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.
“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.”
Sir Keir Starmer is facing a backlash for the move to suspend the former Labour leader, which was taken by party general secretary David Evans.
The newly-elected Labour leader is facing the prospect of a civil war, as Corbynites and the unions are furious at the decision to suspend his predecessor.
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Good Morning Britain’s Juliet Dunlop highlighted this and said: “It has left Keir Starmer in an impossible position.
“It’s fair to say the battle lines have been drawn because supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and the unions are outraged.
“They see this as an all-out attack on the left of the party.
“And while Keir Starmer may have acted swiftly, he may have acted decisively, he is really on pretty dangerous ground here.
“Just as he tries to unify the party to make a break from the past, he risks now a battle for the very soul of Labour.”
Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite the Union – one of the party’s biggest donors, also criticised the move.
He said: “This was a day for our party to move forward as one to defeat the evil of antisemitism.
“However, the decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn has threatened that opportunity.”
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