Will former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn give up his seat to make a run for London mayor in 2024?
- The former Labour leader is said to be resistant, even if his allies endorse it
- He would have to run against two-term Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan
- An ally said: ‘There are people who have encouraged him to run for mayor’
The former Labour leader sits as an independent MP for Islington North after having the whip removed by his party and is unlikely to be reinstated in time for the next election.
But his supporters yesterday said his route back to power could be as mayor, again as an independent. He would have to go up against two-term Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan.
‘There are people who have encouraged him to run for mayor,’ one ally said.
Incumbent: Jeremy Corbyn with Sadiq Khan in 2016
‘There are people who feel that given the Left’s progressive agenda through some of the metro mayors, having Jeremy do something similar in London would be a good axis. It’s not something he has ever said he has an appetite to do, but it has been discussed by people close to him.’
The former Labour leader himself is said to be resistant to the idea, even if his closest allies endorse it. His spokesman said: ‘Jeremy is focused on his responsibility as the Member of Parliament for Islington North, representing constituents, holding the Tory Government to account and demanding action on the cost of living climate scandal that is causing stress and misery for millions.’
There are also some concerns that a run from Mr Corbyn would split the Labour vote in the capital, allowing a Conservative candidate into power.
A Labour insider told the Huffpost news site: ‘All Jeremy will achieve is replacing a Labour mayor who has made the city fairer, safer and more equal with a Thatcherite Tory.
The former Labour leader himself is said to be resistant to the idea of running for mayor, even if his closest allies endorse it
‘If that’s what he wants good luck to him – but I look forward to reading about him in the dustbin of history.’
Mr Corbyn’s plans for the next election are unclear at the moment. He could run as an independent MP against a Labour candidate or stand down altogether to avoid risking a Tory winning his seat.
Sir Keir Starmer has said his predecessor’s comments on Nato and refusal to apologise for his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on anti-Semitism means it ‘is very difficult to see how’ the whip can be restored. He was suspended from the party after he said that the scale of anti-Semitism within Labour had been ‘dramatically overstated’ by opponents. A report released on Tuesday – and written by Martin Forde QC – found that his allies and opponents within Labour used the issue of anti-Semitism as a ‘factional weapon’ amid a ‘toxic’ atmosphere within the party.