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Jeremy Corbyn says Sir Keir Starmer rewriting history over 2019 election

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Sir Keir Starmer of 鈥渞ewriting history鈥 after the Labour leader said he did not think his party would win the 2019 general election.

In an interview with Beth Rigby on Sky on Wednesday, Sir Keir was questioned over his support for his predecessor in 2019 and his subsequent attempts to distance the party from Mr Corbyn.

Sir Keir said he was 鈥渃ertain鈥 Labour would lose the election but made 鈥渘o apology鈥 for backing Mr Corbyn at the time.

It comes after Sir Keir said the Conservatives have built a 鈥淛eremy Corbyn-style manifesto鈥 that will 鈥渓oad everything into the wheelbarrow鈥 without explaining how to pay for it.

Speaking to the PA news agency on Thursday, Mr Corbyn accused Sir Keir of 鈥渄ouble standards鈥.

Jeremy Corbyn visit to Chingford and Woodford Green
Then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green Faiza Shaheen (Gareth Fuller/PA)

He added: 鈥淚t shows double standards, shall we say, that he now says he always thought that, but he never said it at the time, or anything about it.

鈥淗e was part of the campaign. He and I spoke together at events and I find it actually quite sad.

鈥淕et over it and get on with it. He was in the shadow cabinet, he was at the Clause 5 meeting. Both those meetings unanimously agreed the 2019 manifesto, and he was there.鈥

At the interview with Sky on Wednesday, Sir Keir said: 鈥淚 was certain that we would lose the 2019 election.鈥

He added: 鈥淚 did campaign for Labour, of course I did, I will openly say I campaigned for Labour, I wanted good colleagues to be returned into the Labour Party.鈥

Mr Corbyn said his message to the Labour leader was to 鈥渙wn鈥 his involvement with the 2019 campaign.

He said: 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry that he鈥檚 changing his memory on this. I was there alongside him in 2019. We did campaign together. He was at events with me. Own it.鈥

Mr Corbyn said that from his own memory, in 2019 Sir Keir 鈥渄id not generally engage in wider policy.鈥

鈥淗is conversations with me, in the shadow cabinet, were usually about the arcane details of the withdrawal bill.

鈥淗e did not generally engage in wider policy, but never dissented either.鈥

Mr Corbyn also reflected that in 2020, Sir Keir 鈥渃omplimented him鈥 and called him a 鈥済ood friend鈥.

Corbyn-Abbott
Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr Corbyn said that the last time he spoke to Sir Keir was 鈥渁bout four years ago鈥 before adding: 鈥淗e doesn鈥檛 speak to me at all, which I find odd.鈥

The former leader of the Labour Party also said that he would 鈥渁bsolutely鈥 encourage Diane Abbott鈥檚 constituents to vote for her, following uncertainty over whether she could stand for Labour.

鈥淚 was on the phone last week congratulating her.

鈥淪he鈥檚 my parliamentary neighbour.

鈥淚鈥檝e got her on one side and Keir Starmer on the other.鈥

He also said he was 鈥減roud鈥 to campaign alongside Faiza Shaheen, the former Labour Party candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, who was dropped by the party over her use of social media.

His message to Ms Shaheen was: 鈥淵ou鈥檝e done fantastic work on economics, fantastic work on how we can bring about greater justice and equality within our societies and you鈥檙e a fantastic campaigner in Chingford.

鈥淚 was proud to campaign alongside you, and I wish you well.鈥

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