Corbyn reinstated by UK Labour Party after suspension resulting from anti-Semitism probe

November 19, 2020 by JNS
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Former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted on Tuesday that he has been reinstated into the party following a 19-day suspension.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Corbyn, who led the Labour Party between September 2015 and last April, was suspended by the party after a watchdog group in the United Kingdom found that the party’s leadership has failed to address anti-Semitism and complaints about hatred towards Jews.

“I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity. Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government,” he tweeted.

 

In response to the report, Corbyn said, “One anti-Semite 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.”

“That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome,” he continued. “While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, a non-departmental public body in England and Wales, released a report confirming that the Labour Party has had “serious failings … in addressing anti-Semitism and an inadequate process for handling anti-Semitism complaints.”

The report found that Labour violated the Equality Act of 2010 in three ways: “political interference in anti-Semitism complaints,” “failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints” and “harassment.”

The watchdog gave the Labour Party until Dec. 10 “to draft an action plan to implement the recommendations, which is legally enforceable by the court if not fulfilled.”

In a Twitter thread, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer acknowledged that the reinstatement is a “painful day” for the Jewish community, but also remarked that Corbyn won’t be allowed to “prevent” the party “from doing the vital work of tackling anti-Semitism.”

“The decision casts serious doubts on whether the party truly cares to confront Jew-hatred within its own ranks.”

“I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle anti-Semitism. I know the hurt that has been caused and the trauma people have felt,” he tweeted. “Jeremy Corbyn’s statement in response to the EHRC report was wrong and completely distracted from a report that identified unlawful conduct in our tackling of racism within the Labour Party. This should shame us all.

“I will not allow a focus on one individual to prevent us from doing the vital work of tackling antisemitism. When I stood as leader of the Labour Party, I was clear that my first priority would be to root out anti-Semitism. It still is,” he continued. “I know we have a long way to go, but I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people.”

“That must mean establishing an independent complaints process as soon as possible in the New Year. This is my commitment and my promise to our party, the Jewish community and the British people.”

 

 

 

‘The Jewish community has been conned’

Jewish organizations immediately reacted against the reinstatement.

The U.K.-based Campaign Against Antisemitism called it “a shambolic development.”

“By readmitting Mr. Corbyn, the Labour Party has once again excused anti-Semitism and proved itself unwilling to address it,” the organization’s chief executive, Gideon Falter, said in a statement. “Mr. Corbyn’s suspension should have remained in place until all of our complaints against him were investigated, but no investigation has been undertaken. Once again, we see the impact of Labour’s failure to implement an independent disciplinary process … and Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership pledges that have now gone unfulfilled for almost a year.”

“The Jewish community has been conned,” said Falter. “Mr Corbyn must be resuspended immediately pending investigation of our complaint against him under the new independent process mandated by the EHRC. Britain is watching.”

In a joint statement, Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl, Jewish Leadership chair Jonathan Goldstein and Community Security Trust chief executive Mark Gardner, said, “Today’s decision is a retrograde step for the party in its relations with the Jewish community.”

The Jewish Labour Movement labeled Corbyn’s reinstatement “extraordinary.”

“It appears that the party expedited this case for [a] hearing by a factionally aligned political committee,” it said.

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “The decision casts serious doubts on whether the party truly cares to confront Jew-hatred within its own ranks and more broadly. This is not what a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism looks like.”

 

“Reinstating Jeremy Corbyn so quickly is a sure-fire way for Labour to ensure their relationship doesn’t improve with the British Jewish community anytime soon,” tweeted the World Jewish Congress.

JNS

 

Comments

One Response to “Corbyn reinstated by UK Labour Party after suspension resulting from anti-Semitism probe”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Suspended but not expelled – there is a difference.

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