Labour has been accused of “demonstrable incompetence” in addressing anti-Semitism in a stinging report by a cross-party group of MPs, that savages Jeremy Corbyn, Twitter and the leader of the National Union of Students.
The hard-hitting report, following a probe into anti-Semitism in the UK by the Home Affairs Select Committee, also proposes a revised definition of anti-Semitism to be adopted by law enforcement agencies and all political parties.
Jeremy Corbyn – who stands accused by the MPs of not understanding modern anti-Semitism – condemned the greater focus on Labour compared to other parties as the document’s release threatened to reignite the row over anti-Semitism among members of his party.
The MPs from across the House – who stressed they were united in their findings – said they believed the leader’s “lack of consistent leadership on this issue, and his reluctance to separate anti-Semitism from other forms of racism, has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people”.
While Corbyn has a “proud record” of fighting racism, “we are not assured that he fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War anti-Semitism”.
Unlike other forms of racism, they claimed, “it paints the victim as a malign and controlling force, making it perfectly possible for an ‘anti-racist campaigner’ to express anti-Semitic views.”
The case of former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, who was recently suspended for a second time, illustrates the party’s “demonstrable incompetence” in dealing with accused members, they argued.
The report calls for a public statement outlining the reasons for every expulsion or reinstatement.
The MPs welcomed the leader’s decision to commission an inquiry by Shami Chakrabarti but condemned her and Corbyn over the timing of her elevation to the Lords.
They also claimed her report was “ultimately compromised by its failure to deliver a comprehensive set of recommendations, to provide a definition of anti-Semitism or suggest effective ways of dealing with it. The failure of the Labour Party to deal consistently and effectively with anti-Semitic incidents risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-Semitic”.
However, the report stresses that other parties are not immune to accusations of anti-Semitism and urges all major parties to consider “whether recommended reforms could be applied to their own processes for for training and disciplining members”.