Jeremy Corbyn has lost any long-standing chance of running again as a Labor candidate after his attack on NATO, Keir Starmer has suggested.
The former party leader was banished for refusing to withdraw his insistence that the extent of anti-Semitism in Labor in the years he led it had been “dramatically overestimated”.
But he has now clashed with the current leadership by proposing that military alliances such as NATO could build “greater danger” in the world and should eventually be disbanded.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many of his left-wing Labor allies supported a Stop The War Coalition declaration condemning “NATO enlargement” as a cause of conflict.
Corbyn’s Labor membership was restored in 2020, but not the party whip – without which he could not run for his Islington North seat in the next general election.
Asked about the former leader’s views on NATO, Sir Keir said BBC: “It is very difficult to see how that situation can now be resolved.
“He lost the whip because of his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission on anti-Semitism, but I made it very clear – the first thing I said – as party leader was that I wanted to tear anti-Semitism out of its roots in our party.
“I have also made it clear that our position in the Labor Party is not to accept the false equivalence between Russian aggression and NATO actions.”
Asked if that meant he was opposed to Mr Corbyn returning as a Labor MP, Sir Keir replied: “I am very clear on my views on these two issues, very clear.”
Earlier this month, Corbyn criticized both Boris Johnson and Joe Biden for not doing enough to encourage “dialogue and peace” as the Ukraine war drags on.
Asked if he still thinks NATO should be dissolved, he said Times Radio: “I would like to see a world where we eventually begin to dissolve all military alliances.
“The question must be, what is the best way to create peace in the future? Is it by more alliances? Is it by more military building? Or is it by stopping the war in Ukraine and the other wars.”
The former leader added: “And ask yourself the question, do military alliances bring peace? Or do they actually encourage each other and build up to a greater danger?
“I do not blame NATO for invading Ukraine. “What I am saying is to look at the matter historically and look at the process that could have taken place at the end of the Ukraine war.”
Corbyn has founded the Peace and Justice Project, a campaign group that some believe he could turn into a political party – a banner under which he could run.
Asked if he could rule out doing so, he replied, “I do not know what the future will bring.”