Labour frontbencher Louise Haigh says she 'regrets' nominating Jeremy Corbyn as leader
Labour frontbencher Louise Haigh has said she regrets nominating Jeremy Corbyn as leader in 2015 after he had the whip removed over his reaction to an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the party under his leadership.
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Ms Haigh, who was promoted to the shadow cabinet by Mr Corbyn shortly after first entering Parliament 2015, said she's thought about her decision to nominate the former leader "a lot".
Appearing on the Acting Prime Minister podcast, she said despite Mr Corbyn inspiring many people to join the party, "it is very difficult to overstate the impact that the anti-Semitism crisis that engulfed the Labour Party under his leadership has had on the Jewish community".
"On that basis alone, I think I have to say I do regret nominating him."
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Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party, less than a year after launching his bid to become prime minister at the 2019 general election, after he said he did not accept some aspects of the EHRC report, which found the party, under his leadership was "responsible for unlawful acts" of anti-Semitic discrimination and harassment.
Mr Corbyn said the scale of the problem in Labour was "dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party".
He later clarified his remarks and was reinstated as a member, but current leader Sir Keir Starmer decided he should not be allowed to rejoin the Parliamentary Labour Party, meaning after 37 years he is no longer a Labour MP.
Ms Haigh said Sir Keir had "very little choice" but to withhold the whip from Mr Corbyn.
She said: "For Jeremy to respond in the way he did [to the EHRC report] was appalling and I think it left Keir with very little choice than to keep the whip off him this week, because he's refused to acknowledge his role in it and to properly apologise."
Asked to compare the leadership of Mr Corbyn with his successor, she said: "It does feel different.
"Jeremy's leadership and the leadership over the past five years was not good, it wasn't a good place to be on the front bench under his leadership.
"There wasn't good debate or discussion, it was a nightmare to get decisions out of him... all of that's gone."
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