An inquiry into Labour’s actions surrounding allegations of anti-Semitism has found the party guilty of breaking “equality law” including “unlawful acts of discrimination and harassment”.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation into Labour’s anti-Semitism found there were “serious failings” by the party’s leadership when it came to anti-Semitism that showed a lack of willingness to tackle the issue rather than a lack of ability to do so.
- The EHRC report found the Labour party committed “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination”
- They said there had been “inexcusable failures which appear to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism rather than an inability to do so.”
- The human rights watchdog found “significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints” over the last four years.
- It also found “specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference”.
- And noted a “lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues” which it says is “hard to reconcile with its stated commitments to a zero-tolerance to anti-Semitism.”
- Labour has until 10th December to draft an action plan to implement the report’s recommendations.
Labour leader Kier Starmer called the publication a “day of shame for the party”.
Speaking at a press conference, Starmer said: “Most telling of all a clear breakdown of trust between the Labour Party, many of its members and the Jewish community. I found this report hard to read and it is a day of shame for the Labour Party, we have failed Jewish people.”
He added: “We failed the Jewish people, our members, our supporters 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.”
A statement from Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party. https://t.co/p5LkQxOczs
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) October 29, 2020
Jeremy Corbyn responded to the EHRC report by claiming that reports of anti-Semitism within Labour were “dramatically overstated” for political reasons and that he did not accept the full findings of the report.
“One antisemite is one too many, but 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,” Corbyn said.
He added: “While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.”
Jewish leaders from a number of organisations issued a joint statement in response to the inquiries findings.
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board, Jonathan Goldstein, Chair, of the JLC, and Mark Gardner, CEO of the CST – joint statement in full:
“This report is a damning verdict on what Labour did to Jews under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies. It proves why British Jews were so distressed and it disgraces those who attacked us for speaking out against anti-Jewish racism.
“Our Jewish community never wanted this fight, but we had to defend ourselves and are proud to have done so. We thank all those who stood with us, despite the abuse they received as a result.
“Jeremy Corbyn will rightly be blamed for what he has done to Jews and Labour, but the truth is more disturbing, as he was little more than a figurehead for old and new anti-Jewish attitudes. All of this was enabled by those who deliberately turned a blind eye.
“Now, the task of cleaning out the problem lies with the current leadership. We welcome the start that Keir Starmer has made, but the scale of the challenge that lies ahead should not be underestimated.
“We will continue to give our support to all who work to drive racism out of our politics and out of our society.”