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Corbyn beats Labour, is re-elected as London MP

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has secured victory in Islington North, a seat he has held since 1983, but this marks his first win as an independent MP. In March 2023, incumbent Labour leader Keir Starmer prevented Corbyn from running as a party candidate. Shortly after the election was called, however, Corbyn announced his intention to run independently, resulting in his expulsion from the party. Corbyn has long advocated for the rights of the Palestinian people and in his acceptance speech said the electorate is for a government that searches for 'peace and not war on the world stage'.

July 5, 2024 at 11:47 am

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as an independent candidate in London’s Islington North constituency, marking a significant victory for pro-Palestine advocates in the UK general election.

Corbyn, who has represented the area for more than 40 years, defeated Labour’s Praful Nargund with a commanding 24,120 votes to 16,873.

Corbyn’s win was accompanied by victories for four other independent candidates who stood on pro-Gaza tickets in key seats including Shockat Adam in Leicester South, Ayoub Khan in Birmingham Perry Barr, Adnan Hussain in Blackburn, and Iqbal Mohamed in Dewsbury and Batley.

In his victory speech, Corbyn emphasised the need for a government that prioritises peace over war and addresses the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

He said those who voted for him were “looking for a government that on the world stage will search for peace, not war, and not allow the terrible conditions that are happening in Gaza at the present time.”

“Our campaign was a positive one, it did not get into the gutter of politics. Ours was a positive campaign trying to bring hope to people,” he added.

“Our campaign was utterly determined to bring a degree of unity to it. This result is a resounding message from the people of Islington North that they want something better. I owe my life and my learning and my abilities entirely to the people of Islington North. This victory is dedicated entirely to them.”

In a separate statement this morning, Corbyn thanked his supporters and described the result as a “glimpse of a different future, which puts the interests of many ahead of those of the few.”

“It is also a warning – a warning to the incoming government that dissent cannot be crushed without consequences,” he added.

The victories of these independent candidates signal a potential shift in UK politics, with increased attention on international issues such as Israel’s war on Gaza.

In Blackburn, Labour’s Kate Hollern was defeated by Adnan Hussain who had pledged “to make your concerns against the injustice being inflicted against the people of Gaza be heard in the places where our so-called representatives failed.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer was heckled with shouts of “Free Palestine” both at the polling station in his Holborn and St Pancras constituency and at his election count as he was declared winner.

While Labour has claimed it wants the war in Gaza to stop, it has also backed Israel’s right to defend itself. Starmer came under intense criticism when, in the days following 7 October, he suggested in an interview with UK radio station LBC that Israel “has the right” to cut off basic necessities such as food, power and water to Palestinians trapped in Gaza.

Watch: The faces behind London’s Gaza murals