Sir Keir Starmer said Jeremy Corbyn’s “days as a Labour MP are over” as he spoke of his shock that the former party leader repeatedly refused to call Hamas a terrorist organisation.
The Opposition leader said his predecessor, who was stripped of the party whip in 2020, “won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election”.
Mr Corbyn was repeatedly asked on Talk TV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored programme this week whether he thought Hamas was a terror group.
But the Islington North MP, an outspoken critic of Israel, continually avoided the question and attempted to move the conversation on.
Palestinian Hamas militants were responsible for the October 7 assault on Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 others hostage in raids that have sparked a bloody war in the Middle East.
The Gaza rulers are proscribed as a terror group in the UK and support for them is banned.
Sir Keir, asked on The News Agents podcast whether Mr Corbyn’s interview with Morgan would preclude him from standing for Labour again, said: “He won’t stand as a Labour MP at the next election or any election.
“His days as a Labour MP are over. We have a changed party.”
Mr Corbyn had the Labour whip in Parliament removed in October 2020 over his response to the equalities watchdog report on antisemitism in the party during his tenure as leader.
He sits as an Independent MP but remains a Labour member.
Sir Keir — who served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet — said he was “taken aback and shocked” by the left-wing stalwart’s refusal to describe Hamas as a terror outfit.
“It reaffirmed in me why it is so important to me and to this changed Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn does not sit as a Labour MP and will not be a candidate at the next election for the Labour Party,” he continued.
“That is how far we have changed as the Labour Party.”
Sir Keir faced a bruising week on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war, suffering a major rebellion in the Commons against the party’s position of calling for pauses in the violence but not going so far as to demand a ceasefire.
He had put Labour MPs on a three-line whip not to vote for a Scottish National Party (SNP) motion calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
But 56 of his lawmakers defied the order, with 10 shadow ministers and parliamentary aides among them. The frontbenchers quit or were sacked as a result.
Sir Keir said there is “no unconditional support for Israel” as it fights back against Hamas, and urged that civilians and hospitals “must be protected”, with international law upheld.
MPs on both sides of the ceasefire debate have faced abuse since Wednesday’s Commons vote.
Shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens had her constituency office vandalised after abstaining on the Gaza vote, while Naz Shah, who quit the front bench to support a ceasefire, said she has received “Islamophobic hatred”.
Sir Keir said there had been “intense pressure” on parliamentarians this week as he spoke about his concerns for his family if he becomes prime minister after the next election.
The former director of public prosecutions said he was “not daunted” by the prospect of entering Downing Street but that “my only concern is about my family”.
In Friday’s podcast episode, he said: “I’ve always been concerned about them. I’ve got a wife who has her own life and I need to ensure that she can live her life in the way that she wants to.
“I’ve got two children: I’ve got a 15-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl.
“And my biggest concern — about the only concern I have going forward — is asking myself over and over again, particularly at the moment, how do I protect them as we go into this?”