Sir Keir Starmer will on Tuesday deliver the final blow to Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of standing for Labour at the next general election warning if he is a candidate it risk hitting Labour’s chances of victory.
At a meeting of the party’s ruling body, Sir Keir will put forward a motion saying it will not endorse Islington North MP Mr Corbyn as a candidate at the next election.
Ahead of the meeting of the National Executive Committee, a senior Labour source said: “Keir Starmer has made clear that Jeremy Corbyn won’t be a Labour candidate at the next general election.
“The Labour Party now is unrecognisable from the one that lost in 2019. Tuesday’s vote will confirm this and ensure we can focus on our five missions to build a better Britain.”
But Mr Corbyn hit back shortly after lunchtime on Monday.
In a statement he accused Sir Keir of “breaking his commitment to respect the rights of Labour members and denigrated the democratic foundations of our Party”.
He added: “I have been elected as the Labour MP for Islington North on 10 consecutive occasions since 1983. I am proud to represent a community that supports vulnerable people, joins workers on the picket line and fights for transformative change.
“This latest move represents a leadership increasingly unwilling to offer solutions that meet the scale of the crises facing us all. As the government plunges millions into poverty and demonises refugees, Keir Starmer has focused his opposition on those demanding a more progressive and humane alternative.
“I joined the Labour Party when I was 16 years old because, like millions of others, I believed in a redistribution of wealth and power. Our message is clear: we are not going anywhere. Neither is our determination to stand up for a better world.”
But even if the Islington North Labour party backed Mr Corbyn to be its candidate, the selection would still need the endorsement of the NEC.
The motion argues that “to maximise the Labour’s prospects of winning the next general election” and to avoid any “detrimental impact on the Labour Party’s standing with the electorate in the country as a whole” , the party’s interests “are not well served” by Mr Corbyn running as a Labour Party candidate.
It adds: “ Accordingly, this meeting resolves that Mr Corbyn will not be endorsed by the NEC as a candidate on behalf of the Labour Party at the next general election.”
The party’s General Secretary will write to Mr Corbyn “immediately after this meeting” to advise him of the ruling body’s decision, according to the motion which is expected by be agreed.
Mr Corbyn would still be a Labour member and retain rights to attend party meetings, with voting rights under its rule book remaining unchanged.
Labour has until recently been enjoying a lead of 15 to 20, or even more, in the polls.
But a few surveys are now suggesting that the Tories may be clawing back some ground under Rishi Sunak’s premiership, which have raised hopes among some Conservative MPs that they could still win the next election.
Labour has a huge task of achieving a victory after its historic defeat in 2019.
However, its hopes have been boosted by Nicola Sturgeon quitting as leader of the Scottish National Party, with the expectation that her successor will not be such a formidable political operator as her.
Labour is now eyeing winning possibly 20 or more seats in Scotland, which would make it easier from it to gain a Commons majority rather than having to rely far more on victories across the so-called former “Red Wall” in the North of England, Midlands, and down to Wales.