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Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn suspended from Labour Party after antisemitism report

PUBLISHED: 13:27 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 20:14 03 November 2020

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been suspended from the Labour Party today. Photograph: James Brady/PA.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been suspended from the Labour Party today. Photograph: James Brady/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn over his reaction to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into antisemitism in the party during his leadership.

An investigation by the human rights watchdog published today concluded the Labour Party broke equality law in its handling of antisemitism.

The report found evidence of “political interference” by then leader Jeremy Corbyn’s office in the complaints process, and the EHRC’s interim chairwoman Caroline Waters said there had been “inexcusable” failures which “appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle antisemitism rather than an inability to do so”.

The EHRC identified serious failings in the Labour Party leadership in addressing antisemitism and an inadequate process for handling antisemitism complaints.

In response, MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, said he did not accept all of the EHRC’s findings and added that the scale of the antisemitism problem in Labour was “dramatically overstated” for political reasons.

In a statement posted on Facebook, he said: “Antisemitism is absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes.

“As Leader of the Labour Party I was always determined to eliminate all forms of racism and root out the cancer of antisemitism. I have campaigned in support of Jewish people and communities my entire life and I will continue to do so.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.

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“He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

In response Mr Corbyn said he would “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend him”.

“I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong,” he said.

“I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.”

The report found the party is responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act (2010) relating to: political interference in complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism cases and harassment.

Ms Waters said: “The Labour Party made a commitment to zero tolerance for antisemitism.

“Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling antisemitism was insufficient.

“This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle antisemitism rather than an inability to do so.”

The party has been served with an unlawful act notice and has been given until December 10 to draft an action plan to implement the report’s recommendations, which is legally enforceable by the courts if not fulfilled.


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