Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed reports that he has been reinstated as a member of the Labour Party he led for nearly five years.
In a Tuesday evening tweet, the left-wing Islington North MP confirmed the lifting of a suspension imposed by new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer 19 days earlier for the former's comments on a report into claims of anti-Semitism within the party.
"I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity," Corbyn wrote. "Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government."
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 17, 2020
Starmer moved against his former boss, Corbyn, over the latter's response to an Equalities and Human Right Commission report into the anti-Semitism allegations, published on October 29. In addition to the suspension, the former leader had the party whip withdrawn, leaving him as an independent MP with little hope of returning to Parliament at the next election.
Corbyn said "one anti-Semite is one too many" in the party, but also insisted that "the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."
Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) met earlier on Tuesday to consider Corbyn's request to be reinstated.
The ex-leader took the opportunity to reiterate an earlier statement apologising for any offence caused to Jews by his comments.
“To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated’,” he wrote. "The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour Party members were and remain committed anti-racists deeply opposed to antisemitism."
Political gossip site Guido Fawkes cited sources claiming that super-union Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey had brokered a deal between the various party factions, shadow cabinet members, backbench MPs and municipal councilors on the NEC to have Corbyn's suspension lifted. McCluskey had previously warned that purging the leading figure of the Labour left would wreak "chaos" in the party.
Corbyn faced becoming only the second Labour leader to be expelled from the party, after from Ramsey MacDonald, who split the party in two when he joined the Conservatives and Liberals in the 1931 National Government.