Gordon Brown: Jeremy Corbyn “has to apologise” over EHRC comments

The former Labour prime minister tells the New Statesman podcast why Corbyn must “admit that he got it wrong”, what he thinks of Boris Johnson’s No 10, and more.

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Gordon Brown has said that Jeremy Corbyn has “got to accept that he has to apologise” for his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into Labour anti-Semitism, following yesterday’s announcement that Corbyn would not have the Labour whip reinstated after his party membership was restored by an NEC committee.

Speaking on the New Statesman podcast, the former Labour prime minister said: “I think Jeremy Corbyn, who I’m sure did not want ever to be in this position, but is in this position, he’s got to admit that he got it wrong and he’s got to accept that he has to apologise.” Brown added that he thinks the EHRC recommendations need to be implemented in full.  

Discussing his essay, “How to save the United Kingdom”, in this week’s New Statesman, Brown explains the four-pillar approach that he believes is needed if the United Kingdom is to survive, including a new constitutional settlement and a defined sense of shared British values – inspired in part, he says, by the footballer Marcus Rashford.

The former PM also reflects on how Boris Johnson is doing as Prime Minister, arguing that this government has failed to be “two steps ahead of events” in dealing with this crisis. “Just about every day I see them dealing with yesterday’s newspaper stories and the morning’s television coverage and not able to deal with the bigger issues that lie ahead of them.” 

Brown also tells the podcast that Scottish Labour’s current predicament as the third party in Scotland is "not inevitable" and the result of “political mistakes”. Labour has "got to be the social justice party in Scotland”, he argues, “as well as the party of solidarity with the rest of the United Kingdom”.

Subscribers can listen to the full episode with Gordon Brown’s reflections on the future of the United Kingdom, devolution, the Labour Party, and Boris Johnson’s Downing Street now. It will be available for everyone from 7am tomorrow.

Ailbhe Rea is political correspondent at the New Statesman.

She co-hosts the New Statesman podcast, discussing the latest in UK politics.

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