Jeremy Corbyn says Keir Starmer never raised doubts about Labour's campaign in 2019

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday that Sir Keir Starmer never shared any concerns with him about the course of the 2019 election campaign, when the party suffered its worst result since the 1930s.

“No,” the veteran Left-winger told the Standard after rallying campaign volunteers in Islington.

“He was part of the campaign, he was in the shadow cabinet and the Clause V meeting that agreed the manifesto, which was unanimous,” he said.

“This sort of reconstruction of history is a really strange thing to be doing.”

After Sir Keir took over, Mr Corbyn was barred from the Labour whip following a long-running dispute about antisemitism under his leadership. He was then expelled when he confirmed he would stand as an independent in Islington North.

Sir Keir, adamant that Labour has now changed, is set for a landslide victory against the Conservatives but has been repeatedly quizzed about why he declared in 2019 that Mr Corbyn would make a “great” Prime Minister.

He has been stressing, including on a BBC Question Time special this week, that he never thought Labour could win under its then leadership.

Asked if that raised questions about Sir Keir’s character, Mr Corbyn said that everyone in public life has “got to self-reflect, and so just rewriting history doesn’t help”.

First elected MP for Islington North in 1983, the former leader insisted that he had quickly built up a strong independent ground operation in his old stomping ground.

Asked what his chances were against the official Labour candidate, local councillor Praful Nargund, he said: “Very strong indeed.

“We started from zero three weeks ago. We’ve had 1,000 people volunteer to help us in many ways - door knocking, folding leaflets, delivering leaflets, making phone calls, data entry, all that sort of thing.”

And asked about England’s problems at Euro 2024 in finding a midfield balance, with Phil Foden struggling to make an impact from the left, the Arsenal fan said: “Never forget the power of the Left.”

The latest large-scale MRP survey by YouGov has Mr Nargund on 41% and Mr Corbyn close behind on 36% - tight enough for the pollster to declare the race a “toss up”.

As the race for the general election hots up, The Evening Standard has drawn up an interactive map of all the key battlegrounds in London on July 4, including Islington North.