Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told Sky News he was “disappointed” in his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn’s response to a damning antisemitism report – but has insisted there is “no reason for a civil war” in the party.
Mr Corbyn was suspended from Labour on Thursday – a move he condemned as “political intervention” – after he claimed that antisemitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
He has vowed to fight his suspension, raising the prospect of a bitter battle between Mr Corbyn, his allies and Sir Keir’s leadership.
But Sir Keir played down the prospect of a looming internal conflict within Labour.
“I don’t want a split in the Labour Party,” he told Sky News.
“I stood as leader of the Labour Party on the basis I would unite the party, but also that I would tackle antisemitism.
“I think both of those can be done, there’s no reason for a civil war in our party.
“But we are absolutely determined, I am absolutely determined, to root out antisemitism.
“I don’t want the words Labour and Labour Party and antisemitism in the same sentence again.”