Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
Photo: AFP
Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

UK Labour suspends Corbyn for dismissal of damning anti-Semitism inquiry

Party says move came 'in light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently,' followed warning from new Labour leader that 'those who think there's no problem with anti-Semitism... should be nowhere near' party

News Agencies, Ynet |
Published: 10.29.20 , 15:51
Britain's opposition Labour Party on Thursday suspended former leader Jeremy Corbyn over comments he made after an independent commission found the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination in its handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.
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  • "In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation," it said in a statement.
    "He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party."
    Labour leader Jeremy CorbynLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn
    Former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
    (Photo: AFP)
    In its report published Thursday after a 17-month inquiry, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said Labour was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination in its handling of the allegations.
    "The investigation has identified serious failings in the Labour Party leadership in addressing anti-Semitism and an inadequate process for handling anti-Semitism complaints," said the EHRC, which launched its independent inquiry in May 2019.
    Corbyn rejected the EHRC findings Thursday, sticking to his years-long claim that "the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media."
    The former leader apparently failed to heed a warning from his replacement, Sir Keir Starmer, who called Thursday a "day of shame" for Labour and hinted the party would take action against those who still rejected there were serious issues with anti-Semitism.
    קיר סטארמר מנהיג הלייבור לייבור ב בריטניה ב פרלמנט דיון כמעט ריק בגלל ה קורונהקיר סטארמר מנהיג הלייבור לייבור ב בריטניה ב פרלמנט דיון כמעט ריק בגלל ה קורונה
    New British Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer took office in April
    (Photo: EPA)
    "If, after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report, there are still those who think there's no problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour party, that it’s all exaggerated, or a factional attack, then frankly you are part of the problem too - and you should be nowhere near the Labour Party," Starmer said.
    "We have failed Jewish people, our members and the British public. And so on behalf of the Labour Party, I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused," he said.
    Corbyn's tenure was marred by persistent complaints of anti-Semitism in party ranks, with many of the country’s Jews saying they would consider emigrating should he be elected prime minister.
    British Jews protest outside parliament against Labour's Jeremy CorbynBritish Jews protest outside parliament against Labour's Jeremy Corbyn
    British Jews protest outside parliament in London against anti-Semitism in Labour under Jeremy Corbyn
    (Photo: EPA)
    The EHRC said the Labour Party under Corbyn was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act: political interference in anti-Semitism complaints; failure to provide proper training to handle the complaints and harassment.
    "Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling anti-Semitism was insufficient," Caroline Waters, interim chair of the EHRC, said.
    "This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism rather than an inability to do so."
    In November 2019, Corbyn, a veteran pro-Palestinian activist, declined multiple times to apologize to the UK Jewish community, hours after British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis excoriated the party over its shoddy handling of anti-Semitic "poison" within its ranks.
    Veteran BBC journalist Andrew Neil asked Corbyn four times whether he wanted to apologize for pain caused to British Jews.
    Each time, Corbyn sidestepped the question, replying: "What I'll say is this I am determined that our society is safe for people of all faiths."
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