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The Countdown star erupted in fury about Jeremy Corbyn being reinstated as a member of the Labour Party. Rachel Riley branded the move “disgusting and ridiculous.” Leader Sir Keir Starmer has yet to decide whether to restore the whip but said the move to readmit Mr Corbyn by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee marked “another painful day for the Jewish community”.
Speaking to LBC, Ms Riley said: “I think it’s absolutely disgusting. It’s ridiculous.
“He was suspended for bringing the party into disrepute and he 100 percent bought the party into disrepute.
“He caused so much upset, and has no awareness of what he’s done.
“It’s more than disappointing.”
LBC presenter Nick Ferrari asked: “Sir Keir and his supporters have talked about turning the page on this and it being a new day and a new dawn for the Labour Party’s relationship with Jewish people.
“How do you respond to that?”
Ms Riley continued: “This is 100 steps backwards. It’s just beyond a joke.”
Allies of Mr Corbyn insisted he would automatically have the whip restored and be readmitted to the Parliamentary Labour Party.
But senior Labour sources insisted that is not the case and it is a decision for party leader Sir Keir and chief whip Nick Brown.
Whatever decision Sir Keir takes, he will face a backlash – either from those who hoped to draw a line under the Corbyn era or the faction which remains loyal to the former leader.
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said Sir Keir must refuse to restore the whip.
She said the decision to reinstate Mr Corbyn was an “absolute sham” and shows the Labour Party “have not learned anything at all”.
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She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the former leader’s case has “clearly been rushed through and judged by a politicised panel stuffed with his own supporters”.
She added: “I hope this morning that Keir Starmer will have reflected on what has happened yesterday and make it clear that he is refusing to restore the whip.”
Mr Corbyn was suspended from Labour last month for his response to the EHRC report which found the party had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
He claimed the scale of anti-Semitism in the party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents both inside and outside Labour, along with the media.
But he later attempted to clarify his comments in a statement to the party, saying concerns about anti-Semitism are “neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated”‘.
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