Jeremy Corbyn 'extremely unlikely to run for London Mayor' says brother Piers

Piers Corbyn believes it is “extremely unlikely” that his brother Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour party leader, will run for London mayor.

He made the revelation on Thursday after being forcibly evicted from City Hall by security guards who believed he planned to disrupt Mayor’s Question Time.

Piers Corbyn said he planned to run for mayor – unlike his younger brother. There has been frequent speculation that Jeremy Corbyn, who has been suspended from the Labour parliamentary party, could run in May, potentially jeopardising Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s bid for a third term.

But Piers Corbyn told the Standard: “I think that is extremely unlikely. I know it has been talked about. It’s something he has never said to me. The only people who raise this idea are Tories who want him to stand to upset Khan.”

He added that his brother had not told him directly that he would not run for mayor but added: “I think it is extremely unlikely that Jeremy will stand as mayor because his main forte is his own constituency.”

The incident, which occurred in the foyer of City Hall at around 11am, could be heard from the chamber as Mr Khan faced questions from the London Assembly about his 2024/25 budget.

Mr Corbyn, 76, who spoke to the Standard outside City Hall afterwards, said six security guards had been involved in removing him from the building.

Mr Corbyn says he reported the incident to police. But one security guard, speaking to the Standard, alleged that one of his colleagues had been involved in an altercation with Mr Corbyn after he refused to accept a verbal request to leave City Hall.

It is understood that the incident will have been recorded by City Hall’s CCTV cameras. At the end of the meeting, assembly chairman Andrew Boff thanked City Hall’s security staff.

Piers Corbyn outside City Hall on Thursday (Ross Lydall)
Piers Corbyn outside City Hall on Thursday (Ross Lydall)

Security staff told the Standard that they were aware that it was Piers Corbyn, who has a history of disrupting events and was regarded as a conspiracy theorist during the pandemic, who was seeking to enter the chamber.

People in the public gallery in the chamber – including a class of primary school children - could see a man being manhandled at speed through the security barriers but it was unknown at the time who was involved.

Mr Corbyn, who had a megaphone in a bag but said he had not planned to disrupt the meeting, said he wanted to hear what Mr Khan had to say about Palestine and other issues.

He wrongly believed that the mayor had remained silent on the Israel/Hamas war, when in fact Mr Khan has repeatedly called for a ceasefire.

Mr Corbyn believes his brother is far more likely to focus on remaining MP for Islington North, by running as an independent or unofficial Labour candidate.

“I support him 100 per cent standing in his own constituency,” he said. “He is a superb constituency MP.”

Piers Corbyn said he wanted to run for mayor for three reasons – to get empty homes in use to tackle the housing crisis, to scrap the Ulez and review the congestion charge, and to campaign on the freedom of the right of expression. He denied damaging any Ulez cameras.

Asked what happened, he said: “I was here to attend the Mayor’s Question Time on the budget. It’s especially important for me as I’m going to be standing as a mayoral candidate.

“I was allowed in the building in the normal way and I did the security check. I gave them some stuff they didn’t want me to take in, such as a megaphone, which is fine. I was walking towards the entrance [to the chamber] and security guys just stood in front of me and said: ‘No, you’re not coming in’.

“I said ‘Why am I not coming in?’ He said, and I wrote it down: ‘We are refusing you entry because we have reasons to believe that you may disrupt.’

“I said I’m not here to disrupt and it is my democratic right to attend. It’s an utter disgrace.

“If we were here to disrupt we would come in a different way. We would come with numbers of people entering anonymously at different times and then we would do something with a signal.”