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Jeremy Corbyn: Islington North Candidate Interview

Jeremy Corbyn says he has “nothing to hide” after claiming his Labour challenger has been told not to attend candidate hustings in Islington North.

The veteran left-wing MP, who has represented the constituency for more than 40 years, is running as an independent candidate in the upcoming general election.

Corbyn, a former Labour leader, was suspended in 2020 over his response to a report into antisemitism in the party.

Last year, Labour’s National Executive Committee approved a motion by leader Sir Keir Starmer to prevent the party from endorsing Corbyn as its candidate at the next general election.

READ MORE – Labour candidate taking on Jeremy Corbyn defends ‘undemocratic’ selection process The 75-year-old is now taking on Labour’s candidate, Islington councillor Praful Nargund, in the hope of holding on to his seat.

Cllr Nargund has defended his selection over accusations the process was “undemocratic”, after Labour members were denied a vote on a two-candidate shortlist put forward by party bosses.

Speaking today (June 18), Corbyn described Labour’s selection process as “appalling”.

He told Islington Gazette: “There was no selection, and it was the shortest shortlist you could get.

“Not one person was involved locally in this selection, and I think that’s appalling.”

Corbyn also claimed that Cllr Nargund had been instructed by the regional Labour party not to attend candidate hustings.

He said: “If you’re putting yourself up to be a representative of your community, you’ve got to be able to answer questions. Some of them are going to be uncomfortable. That’s life.

“If you’re going to be a public representative, you’ve got to be prepared to take the knocks, otherwise don’t do it.”

Corbyn added that he was happy to answer tough questions, claiming he had “nothing to hide”.

A campaign source said Nargund’s priority is “speaking directly to as many voters in the limited time we have available”. London Labour has also been approached for comment.

Corbyn also pledged to hold monthly ‘People’s Assemblies’ if elected on July 4, which would allow constituents to question him and bring local issues to his attention, he said.

The former Labour leader highlighted housing, healthcare, and social care as his other priorities, and committed to opposing NHS privatisation.

READ MORE – New accessible toilet installed at railway station He said: “The National Health Service is being fleeced by the private sector.

“It is more sensible and cheaper to invest in an NHS free at the point of need provided by the public sector.

“I do not support privatisation and I do not support expanding the private health sector.”

Corbyn denied that his motivation for running against Labour was an attempt to get back at party leader Sir Keir Starmer for barring his selection for the party.

He said: “When the Labour party announced that I was not even allowed to put my name forward to be considered, I thought that was a disgrace.

“In response to that, a very large number of people said – Jeremy you can’t take this, you’ve got to stand for us.

“It’s not about me. It’s about the issues that we are faced with in society.”

Corbyn also defended his response to the EHRC report into antisemitism into the Labour party, which ultimately led to his suspension, denying he had ever fully rejected its findings.

He added that the Forde report, which stated that some anti-Corbyn elements of the party seized on antisemitism as a way to attack him, supported his position.

The former leader said: “Any form of racism is an evil and vile thing in our society and I will always oppose any form of racism in our society.

“There isn’t a hierarchy of racism, there is racism.”

Corbyn refused to indicate who his supporters should vote for in other constituencies, urging them to ask candidates about social care, health, housing, and Gaza, before voting.

READ MORE – Free coffee and choir to mark 25 years of farmers’ market He said: “Labour is going to win nationally.

“The end of the Tory government is something I cherish, seeing those Tory MPs having to face up to what they have done to our society.

“But with a government comes a huge responsibility.

“If you don’t change the system that’s brought about the unbelievable levels of inequality within our society, a country of food banks and billionaires, then what are you for?

“You have to be prepared to be radical.”

Corbyn added that he believed he would win on July 4, but that if he was not re-elected, he would continue his work as a campaigner.

He said: “I will always be active on peace and justice and the environment.

“That’s me, that’s my life.”

The full list of candidates in Islington North is as follows:

Vikkas Aggarwal – Liberal Democrat Jeremy Corbyn – Independent Karen Harries – Conservative and Unionist Party Paul Josling – Independent Sheridan Kates – Green Party Praful Nargund – Labour Party Martyn Nelson – Reform UK