UK Labour suspends ex-leader Corbyn after anti-Semitism report

29 Octobre, 2020, 22:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer

Former leader of Britain's main opposition party, the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, has been suspended from the party after a government watchdog ruled it had broken equality law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints during his tenure.

A damning report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

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

Corbyn was propelled from the backbenches to become Labour leader in 2015 after decades of socialist activism, including for Palestinian causes.

"Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where (Labour's) approach and leadership to tackling anti-Semitism was insufficient", the EHRC's interim chair, Caroline Waters, said in presenting the 129-page report.

Luciana Berger, a former Labour MP who was one of many Jewish members to quit the party under Corbyn, said the report was vindication as she described being threatened by his supporters with acid attack, stabbing and rape.

Update, 1.54pm: Jeremy Corbyn has tweeted in response to the suspension: "I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me".

Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party today, a party spokesman has announced, as the country learned the results of the ECHR investigation on antisemitism.

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

The watchdog found that the lack of training for people handling anti-Semitism complaints indirectly discriminated against Jewish members until August 2020, by which time Sir Keir Starmer was leader of the party. It said there were many more accounts of harassment by ordinary party members, but that Labour could not be held legally accountable for them since the perpetrators did not hold any official roles.

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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 anti-Semitism cases and harassment.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the report was a "historic nadir for the Labour Party".

The EHRC's report concluded there was "a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it".

Starmer, who has vowed to root out anti-Semitism, said the report marked a "day of shame" for the party. He shamed the party.

Mr Corbyn used the electoral boost to solidify his position, but continuing controversy over the way Labour was dealing with anti-Semitism allegations among members dogged the party.

Corbyn triggered a leadership election after Labour suffered a hammering in a general election last December, which returned the Conservatives to power under Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Starmer, elected in April, has vowed to stamp out prejudice and restore relations between the party and the Jewish community.

In his own response to the EHRC findings, Keir Starmer declared today: "If you're antisemitic, you should be nowhere near this party".

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He was suspended on Thursday after saying he did not accept all the report's findings, that his attempts at reforming complaints processes had been stalled by "obstructive party bureaucracy" and that the scale of the problem had been overstated for political reasons.



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