Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the opposition Labour Party, has said he is “very shocked and very disappointed” after being suspended from the party.
Corbyn, who has represented the Labour Party in Parliament since 1983, was suspended on Thursday following his response to a report into anti-Semitism in the party.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report found that the party was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act.
The report said there were failings by Labour’s leadership and political interference into complaints. It found the party responsible for acts of harassment and discrimination.
Corbyn said its findings were “dramatically overstated”.
Anti-Semitism had “no place” in the Labour Party, Corbyn told reporters. “I’ve opposed it and racism, in all its forms, all my life.”
In a Facebook post, Corbyn called his suspension a result of “political intervention”, adding that he believes the problem can be “resolved amicably”.
Prospects of ‘civil war’
Labour officials on Friday urged members to stand united against anti-Semitism, appealing against a renewal of a “civil war” within the party following Corbyn’s suspension.
New leader Keir Starmer, whose viewpoint is considered more centrist compared with left-wing Corbyn, called the report a “day of shame” for Labour, as he promised to implement its recommendations in full.
Starmer told Sky News he was “disappointed” in Corbyn, whose angry supporters in the party and trade unions are rallying behind him.
“I don’t want a split in the Labour Party. I stood as leader of the Labour Party on the basis that I would unite the party, but also that I would tackle anti-Semitism,” Starmer said.
“The leader of the Labour Party should now not comment any further, let the process take its course,” Starmer said, while stressing he opposed “purging” anyone.