Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he will stand against the party he once led.

He will contest his Islington North seat, which he has held since 1983, as an independent candidate in the general election on 4 July.

Speaking to his local Islington Tribune newspaper, he said he would be “a voice for equality, democracy and peace”.

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the parliamentary Labour Party in 2020 – when in response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into the party’s handling of anti-Semitism complaints, he suggested that the scale of the problem had been “dramatically overstated” by opponents.

Labour will announce its candidate to replace Mr Corbyn in his north London seat on 1 June

A shortlist of two was drawn up by party officials rather than local members.

Mr Corbyn did not declare his intention to stand as an independent until that process had got under way.

He wanted to make it clear that he was being forced out and not willingly leaving the party he led until four years ago.

Writing in the Islington Tribune, Mr Corbyn said: “Local Labour Party members in Islington North have been prevented from choosing their own candidate, which has disempowered everyone in the community.

“I am appalled at the way local people have been treated. We have to stand up and defend our rights. That is why I am standing to be an independent candidate for the people of Islington North.”

His campaign is likely to provide a focus for those on the left disillusioned with Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership.

Mr Corbyn has endorsed policies rejected by his successor. He said he would defend “a genuine alternative to the corrupt years of this Tory government” which would include rent controls, public ownership of energy and water, the abolition of the 2-child-benefits cap, a Green New Deal, and an ethical foreign policy based on peace and human rights.

“We will not solve these crises unless we build a new kind of politics,” he added.

His supporters are hopeful he can continue to represent the seat he has held for 40 years.

But his decision to stand as an independent might, in one respect, be helpful to Sir Keir. He has argued that he has changed his party and, as if to symbolise this, his predecessor is now likely formally to be expelled from Labour.

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