Jeremy Corbyn says Sir Keir Starmer is 'clearly intervening' in 'purge' of left-wing Labour candidates

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused Sir Keir Starmer of "clearly intervening" in a "purge" of left-wing candidates from the party.

Confusion over whether Diane Abbott will be allowed to stand under Labour's banner on 4 July has dominated headlines in recent days, as well as the suspension of Lloyd Russell-Moyle and the blocking of Faiza Shaheen - with critics of the leadership claiming it is an attack on the left.

But while Sir Keir has continued to say the decisions are not down to him but the party's national executive committee, Mr Corbyn - who is standing as an independent candidate after being expelled from the party himself - focused the blame on his successor.

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Speaking to Sky News's political correspondent Serena Barker-Singh about Ms Abbott, Mr Russell-Moyle and Ms Shaheen, the ex-leader said: "The one thing they all have in common, the people that have been purged, is that they're on the left of the party and have all spoken out in favour of an immediate ceasefire and permanent ceasefire in Gaza."

He claimed that reports Ms Shaheen was stopped from running over tweets she liked on X regarding Israel were "a bit thin," adding: "The Labour Party's procedures ought to be more robust and more open than that."

And asked about whether Sir Keir was behind the decisions, Mr Corbyn said: "He claims sometimes it's nothing to do with him and other times that he's made the decision. He better make up his mind what it is.

"I think the leader ought to be independent of the other processes. But he clearly is intervening all along the way."

Mr Corbyn had a tumultuous exit from Labour after running the party for four years.

He was first kicked out of the parliamentary party in 2020 after claiming a report into antisemitism under his tenure was "dramatically overstated for political reasons".

But he was ejected from the party entirely after announcing he would be running as an independent candidate in Islington North, having been barred from standing in the seat for Labour.

Mr Corbyn faced his own accusations of interfering in disciplinary processes over antisemitism allegations when he was in charge, which he denied.

But Sir Keir claims to have made the process more independent - handing over control to the NEC - since taking office.

The other candidates running against Mr Corbyn in Islington North so far are:

Vikas Aggarwal - Liberal Democrats

Sheridan Kates - Green Party

Praful Nargund - Labour Party

Martyn Nelson - Reform UK