Corbyn says Labour lost London council seats because his whip was removed

8 May 2022, 17:45 | Updated: 8 May 2022, 18:14

Labour election results 'not as good' as mine were in 2018, says Corbyn
Labour election results 'not as good' as mine were in 2018, says Corbyn. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Tim Dodd

Former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has told LBC he thinks Labour lost council seats in London in the local elections in part because his party whip was removed.

It comes as Labour dealt a huge blow to Boris Johnson as they seized Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet in the local elections, but lost Harrow and Croydon to the Tories, and Tower Hamlets to Lutfur Rahman, standing for his own ‘Aspire’ party.

Camilla Tominey asked Mr Corbyn: "On the local elections, would you have done better on Thursday?"

The MP for Islington said: "It's not a question of who would've done better or not done better, the reality is that whilst Labour did gain control of three London boroughs, we also lost control of three London boroughs at the same time.

"And across the whole country we did not gain a net total of very many more seats at all. And indeed, the results are not as good as they were in 2018, when, that was then the best ever result in London at that time.

"There was a difference between London and the rest of the country - this time it's an even more marked difference between London and the rest of the country.

"I'm pleased at the places we won back."

Read more: Local Elections 2022: Which councils have changed hands?

Asked why Labour lost three London boroughs, Mr Corbyn said: "I think that the demotivation of some party activists by the process of suspending my membership of the PLP... the removal of some candidates right up til the time of nomination has a very dispiriting effect on party activists.

"The other, that is in some cases councils and administrations get well out of touch with the people they are there to represent."

Read more: Soft Tories want to give Boris a bloody nose after Partygate, Lammy says

The Labour party turned Wandsworth red, with the south London borough having been under Conservative control since 1978.

Westminster, another flagship Tory council, was also captured by Labour in a historic victory for Sir Keir Starmer's party.

This is the first time Westminster will be under Labour control - with the council being held by the Tories since creation in 1964.

While Labour enjoyed success in London, there was a mixed picture elsewhere.