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UK politics live: Starmer urged not to let Corbyn back into Labour parliamentary party

Latest updates: Labour leader faces dilemma over whether to restore the whip to Corbyn despite suspension being lifted over antisemitism comments

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The BBC doorstepped Sir Keir Starmer outside his home this morning and asked him if Jeremy Corbyn would have the whip restored (ie, readmitted to the PLP) following his readmission to the party last night. Starmer refused to answer, and just said he put out a statement last night.

This is what Starmer said last night.

I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle antisemitism.
I know the hurt that has been caused and the trauma people have felt.

Jeremy Corbyn’s statement in response to the EHRC report was wrong and completely distracted from a report that identified unlawful conduct in our tackling of racism within the Labour Party. This should shame us all.

I will not allow a focus on one individual to prevent us from doing the vital work of tackling antisemitism.

When I stood as leader of the Labour Party, I was clear that my first priority would be to root out antisemitism. It still is.

I know we have a long way to go, but I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people.

I stand by the commitments I made last month to accept the findings and the recommendations of the EHRC’s report in full.

That must mean establishing an independent complaints process as soon as possible in the New Year.

This is my commitment and my promise to our party, the Jewish community and the British people.

Alok Sharma, the business secretary, has refused to apologise for the way PPE suppliers with political connections were given special treatment when the government was sourcing equipment worth £18bn earlier this year.

Asked about the NAO report out today which is critical of the way the process was handled, Sharma said that he would not apologise and that the government was under “huge pressure” at the time to obtain PPE. He said:

We had to do an enormous amount of work very fast to secure PPE and that’s what we did, and I’m not going to apologise for the fact that quite rightly we made that effort.

Related: PPE suppliers with political ties given ‘high-priority’ status, report reveals

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