‘Damning’ inquiry into Labour anti-Semitism finds that the party broke the law under Jeremy Corbyn

The charges against Labour 

  • Labour breached the Equality Act 2010 by committing ‘unlawful harassment’ in two of the complaints investigated.  They included ‘using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of antisemitism were fake or smears’.
  • One of the cases involved Ken Livingstone, who in 2016 defended MP Naz Shah over claims of anti-Semitism by claiming there was a smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to undermine and disrupt Mr Corbyn’s leadership. He later resigned from the Labour Party after being suspended.
  • A further 18 cases were ‘borderline’, involving local councillors, local election candidates and Constituency Labour Party (CLP) officials. 
  • Analysis of 70 anti-Semitism complaint files found 23 incidences of ‘political interference’ by Mr Corbyn’s office and others. This included ‘clear examples of interference at various stages throughout the complaint handling process, including in decisions on whether to investigate and whether to suspend’ party members. 
  • The party’s complaints process was ‘inconsistent, poor, and lacking in transparency’. 
  • In cases where a complaint of anti-Semitism was upheld, it was ‘difficult to draw conclusions on whether the sanctions applied were fair and consistent’. 
  • Recommendations made by the watchdog include commissioning an independent process to handle anti-Semitism complaints and acknowledging the effect political interference has had and implementing clear rules to stop it happening again. 

 

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Jeremy Corbyn became the first former Labour leader to be suspended by the party today after a damning report into anti-Semitism ruled that it illegally harassed and discriminated against Jews under his leadership.

A landmark review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found the party committed unlawful acts in three different areas during the dark years under the hard Left icon. 

The EHRC’s 130-page report said it found ‘significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years’ with  ‘specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference’.

They also blasted ‘a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues’, which it said was ‘hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism’. 


New leader Sir Keir initially side to sidestep the issue of whether he would take direct action against his predecessor this morning. But he was forced to move after Mr Corbyn released a statement offering little contrition.

The former leader 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.’  






A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: ‘In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. 

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

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act over two cases – one of which involved comments made by former London major Ken Livingstone – and has been given until December 10 to act on recommendations in the report or find itself in court. 


This afternoon Mr Corbyn denied he was ‘part of the problem’ and told broadcasters he would not quit Labour: 

‘Of course not. I am proud to be a member of the Labour Party, I joined the Labour party when I was 16, I’ve fought racism all my life, and I’ll fight racism for the rest of my life,’ he said.

In other developments: 

  • Mr Corbyn said he did not accept all the report’s findings, but added: ‘Jewish members of our party and the wider community were right to expect us to deal with it, and I regret that it took longer to deliver that change than it should.’
  • Sir Keir said that the report was ‘hard to read’, adding: ‘It is a day of shame for the Labour Party. We have failed Jewish people.’
  • Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said Jeremy Corbyn had ‘shamed’ the party by sitting ‘at the centre of a party that enabled anti-Semitism.’ 
  • But the Jewish MP dismissed calls for his expulsion saying: ‘He is yesterday’s man. He is absolutely irrelevant.’
  • Former Labour MP Luciana Berger said the findings were ‘damning’ and ‘I don’t think they could have been any worse than what we’ve heard and seen today’.
Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

Mr Corbyn pictured leaving his house in North London this morning, wearing a face mask incorrectly

Sir Keir offered a grovelling apology to British Jews today and warned that those who still felt that accusations were 'exaggerated, or a factional attack' should be 'nowhere near the Labour Party'

Sir Keir offered a grovelling apology to British Jews today and warned that those who still felt that accusations were 'exaggerated, or a factional attack' should be 'nowhere near the Labour Party'

Sir Keir offered a grovelling apology to British Jews today and warned that those who still felt that accusations were ‘exaggerated, or a factional attack’ should be ‘nowhere near the Labour Party’


Jeremy Corbyn’s wife and son back him before his suspension by Labour 

Jeremy Corbyn’s wife and son both stood up for the former Labour leader on social media this morning before he was suspended by the party.

Laura Alvarez wrote in block capitals at 11.14am: ‘PLEASE BOYCOTT THE POISON MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND STAND WITH THE BEST INTERNATIONAL LEADER AND ANTI RACIST ACTIVIST! CHECK FACTS!’

This followed a tweet by Mr Corbyn’s son Tommy Corbyn, who wrote at 9.12am: ‘Interesting day ahead I’m sure. Whatever anyone writes in any report, this man is the furthest thing from a racist as it’s possible to be.

‘I’ve spent my entire life watching him relentlessly fight every form of racism and oppression across the globe. #IStandWithJeremyCorbyn.’

Tommy was one of three sons the politician had with wife Claudia Bracchita, whom he married in 1987 but divorced in 1999. He married Ms Alvarez in 2012.


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Sir Keir refused several attempts to confirm he would take action against his predecessor – but said he would look into the comments released shortly before he faced the press. 

Asked whether Mr Corbyn had been fit to be leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir said: ‘The report doesn’t make individual findings about Jeremy Corbyn.’  

Speaking to reporters today, Alasdair Henderson, from the EHRC, said ‘The failure of leadership was during the time when Jeremy Corbyn was leader. 

‘As leader of the party, with evidence of political interference within his office, he has a responsibility for those failings.’   

But Mr Corbyn showed little contrition this morning. In a statement on the report he said ‘I do not accept all of its findings’ and blamed an ‘obstructive party bureaucracy’ for stalling his attempts to reform the complaints system.

The EHRC launched an investigation last year into claims that the party under Jeremy Corbyn had victimised Jews and turned a blind eye to hard-Left racism.

It was only the second time such a probe had been opened into a political party – the first was into the BNP. 

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. 

The party has been served with an unlawful act notice and has been given until December 10 to draft an action plan to implement the report’s recommendations, which is legally enforceable by the courts if not fulfilled.

The EHRC found evidence of political interference in the complaints process, with 23 instances of inappropriate involvement by the Leader of the Opposition’s Office (LOTO) and others in the 70 files the watchdog looked at.

They included LOTO staff influencing decisions, including on suspensions or whether to investigate claims.

What does the Labour Party have to do to get its house in order after anti-Semitism report?

What happened today? 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) served Labour with an unlawful act notice following its lengthy investigation into anti-semitism which found the party responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination. 

What has the watchdog said?  

The EHRC has made a series of recommendations which Sir Keir Starmer has committed to accepting in full. 

The watchdog said the party must commission an independent process to handle and determine anti-Semitism complains and acknowledge the effect that political interference has had on the handling of previous complaints.

It also called for the party to implement clear rules and guidance that ban any inappropriate interference in the complaints process and to audit its complaint handling process to address any ongoing issues.

What does Labour have to do now? 

The Labour Party is now legally obliged to draft an action plan by Thursday December 10 to tackle the findings and address the recommendations made by the watchdog. 

That action plan has to be formally agreed with the EHRC. 

What happens if Labour fails to meet the requirements set out by the watchdog? 

The EHRC is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing the Equality Act 2010. That means a failure to adhere to its demands can result in legal action.

The action plan Labour has to agree with the body will be legally binding and will be enforceable by the courts. 

If the party fails to live up to the commitments in the plan then the EHRC will be able to launch legal proceedings against it. 

The EHRC could ask a judge to issue a legal order effectively compelling the party to do as it is told.     

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The EHRC found the situation to be indirectly discriminatory and unlawful as it put the person making the complaint at a disadvantage.

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.

Labour has committed to proper training, with the EHRC recommending it should be mandatory and fully implemented within six months.

Lord Mann, a former Labour MP and independent adviser to the Government on anti-Semitism, tweeted: ‘The moment of greatest shame in the history of the Labour Party.

‘And to think how many said it was all made up and exaggerated. Which amongst them will stand up and say that I am truly sorry?’      

The Jewish Labour Movement said the report showed that ‘the blame for this sordid, disgraceful chapter in the Labour Party’s history lies firmly with those who held positions of leadership – those who possessed both power and influence to prevent the growth of anti-Jewish racism, but failed to act.’

In a statement it said: ‘What the report shows is that, worse than simply failing to act, the leadership of the Labour Party actively interfered in the processes relating to anti-Semitism, for political reasons. 

‘This failure of leadership amounted to unlawful conduct that facilitated antisemitism to become normalised within the Labour Party, a situation that continues to this day, that must be stopped, and must never happen again.  

The EHRC report said it ‘uncovered serious failings’ in the way complaints were handled, until at least 2018, during which Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader.

The report stated: ‘We found that the Labour Party’s response to anti-Semitism complaints has been inconsistent, poor and not transparent, in terms of the process used, reasons for decisions, record-keeping, delay and failures to communicate with complainants.

‘Some complaints were unjustifiably not investigated at all.’

The report also found ‘evidence of political interference in the handling of anti-Semitism complaints throughout the period of the investigation’.

The report added: ‘We have concluded that this practice of political interference was unlawful. The evidence shows that staff from the Leader of the Opposition’s Office (LOTO) were able to influence decisions on complaints, especially decisions on whether to suspend someone.

‘Sometimes these decisions were made because of likely press interest rather than any clear formal criteria.’

Caroline Waters, Interim chairwoman of the EHRC, said: ‘The Labour Party made a commitment to zero tolerance for anti-Semitism. Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling antisemitism was insufficient.  

‘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.

‘It is encouraging to see the Party’s new leadership has committed to implementing our recommendations in full. If the Party truly wants to rebuild trust with its members and the Jewish community, it must acknowledge the impact that numerous investigations and years of failure to tackle anti-Semitism has had on Jewish people, and take swift, sincere action to improve.

‘Politicians on all sides have a responsibility to set standards for our public life and to lead the way in challenging racism in all its forms. There have been recent examples of behaviour from politicians of various parties that fall well below the standards we would expect. 

‘While freedom of expression is essential to proper political debate, politicians must recognise the power of their language to sow division. Our recommendations provide a foundation for leaders to make sure that they adhere to equality law and demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their words and actions.’     

The EHRC's 130-page report said it found 'significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years'

The EHRC's 130-page report said it found 'significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years'

The EHRC’s 130-page report said it found ‘significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism complaints over the last four years’

Starmer opens door to Jewish members and MPs who left party under Corbyn

Sir Keir said the door remained open for the likes of Jewish former MP Luciana Berger to return to the party if they wanted to.

Ms Berger was a Labour MP until February 2019 when she quit to help form The Independent Group which later evolved into Change UK. 

She and several other high profile Jewish MPs left the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

He said: ‘I hope she and others will take comfort from the steps we’ve taken over the last six months, and the steps we will take as a result of this report.

‘But I am under no illusion – I will be judged by what I do, and not what I say.

‘And so, the test for me is not just the structural changes, it’s when the Labour Party is a place that those who have left feel they can safely return to.’

Ms Berger said the findings of the report were ‘damning’.

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live she said the report had left her feeling ‘very emotional’.

She said: ‘The findings of the report today are damning, I don’t think they could have been any worse than what we’ve heard and seen today.

‘For the Labour Party found to be guilty of both harassment and discrimination of Jewish party members gives me absolutely no pleasure.’

She added: ‘It’s a very emotional day. This comes after an incredible and very, very challenging journey. A very, very, very tumultuous time.

‘I had to take the decision ultimately to leave the Labour Party 18 months ago, a decision I never anticipated I would ever have to make, and at that moment people accused me and others of making it up, of it being a fabrication, and as we’ve seen in the report today, very, very clearly, it wasn’t.’

As well as ms Berger, former Dudly North MP Ian Austin, whose adoptive family was Jewish, quit the party in protest at the vile wave of anti-Semitism among activists since Mr Corbyn became leader.

Before the election he urged ‘decent patriots’ to vote Tory to stop Jeremy Corbyn getting his hands on the keys to Downing Street. 

Dame Louise Ellman announced she was leaving the party after 55 years last October because she ‘can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming Prime Minister’ – branding him a danger to the Jewish community.

The 73-year-old Jewish MP, who serves Liverpool Riverside, said it had been a ‘truly agonising’ decision to make but that she had to in order to ‘take a stand’ against the Labour Party’s leadership.

More MPs announced they would not stand at the December election because of the issue, including Stoke North MP Ruth Smeeth. 

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The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said: ‘The debate is over. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party became institutionally anti-Semitic. It drove almost half of British Jews to consider leaving the country.

‘For five miserable years, every effort to compel Labour to reform failed. We were left with no choice but to refer the Party to the EHRC, which launched an investigation with us as complainant. 

‘The EHRC’s findings and recommendations today – that Labour’s leadership and culture created an unlawful environment that discriminated against Jews – closely align with the hundreds of pages of evidence and argument that we submitted to the EHRC over many months.

‘Frankly, this report would not be much different had we written it. It is the dispensing of British justice that British Jews have sorely awaited, but has been denied for too long.

In a joint statement today the leaders of Britain’s Jewish community blasted Mr Corbyn.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Jonathan Goldstein and Mark Gardner, chief executive of the Community Security Trust, said: ‘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.’ 

According to the Jewish Labour Movement’s submission to the inquiry, Jewish members faced vile abuse and Mr Corbyn’s office interfered in anti-Semitism cases.

It listed nine cases in which the former leader had personally ‘engaged in’ anti-Semitism, and concluded that the party was ‘no longer a safe space for Jewish people or for those who stand up against anti-Semitism’.

The saga began in 2017 when the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism approached the EHRC after the Daily Mail revealed that the Labour conference fringe had played host to a speaker who said the Holocaust should be open to debate. 

Labour received a copy of the report in July, but it has remained under wraps over the summer so that those named in its pages have a right to reply. 

Karie Murphy, who has herself been accused of meddling in anti-Semitism cases, claimed: ‘Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, anti-Semites were removed from the Labour Party more quickly, transparently and effectively than ever before. 

‘As his former chief of staff, I’m proud of that record.’

Ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone guilty of ‘unlawful harassment’ of Jewish Labour members, report finds 

Ken Livingstone committed ‘unlawful harassment’ of Jews, the EHRC found today.

The hard Left former London mayor was castigated by the report over comments in made in 2016 in support of Bradford MP Naz Shah.

They form the basis of one of the cases where the party broke equalities law. The second involved Pam Bromley, a Labour Party local authority councillor in Rossendale in Lancashire.

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act over two cases - one of which involved comments made by former London major Ken Livingstone

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act over two cases - one of which involved comments made by former London major Ken Livingstone

The EHRC served Labour with an unlawful act notice under the Equality Act over two cases – one of which involved comments made by former London major Ken Livingstone

Under the Equality Act 2010, the Labour Party is legally responsible for unlawful conduct carried out by its agents in the course of their authorised functions or duties 

In 2016 Mr Livingstone waded into the row over anti-Semitic Facebook posts by Ms Shah in 2014, before she was Brandford West MP.

She shared a graphic which was headlined ‘Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States’ and she added: ‘problem solved.’ In a series of apologies, Ms Shah admitted the posts were not ‘excusable’ and vowed to help build relations between faith communities in penance for her statements.

But as the row broke out, Mr Livingstone went public to back her, even though she had apologised.

The EHRC report noted: ‘He sought to minimise their offensive nature by stating that they were merely criticism of Israeli policy at a time of conflict with the Palestinians. 

‘He also alleged that scrutiny of Naz Shah’s conduct was part of an apparent smear campaign by ”the Israel lobby” to stigmatise critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, as well as being aimed at undermining and disrupting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP. These comments were made on radio shows with large audiences.’

It added: ‘Ken Livingstone’s comments, set out above, were unwanted conduct related to Jewish ethnicity. 

‘The evidence referred to above shows that these statements had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for members, and prospective members, of the Labour Party, particularly those who were Jewish.’

Mr Livingstone was suspended by the party in 2017 and resigned the following year amid calls for his expulsion.

 

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Jeremy Corbyn’s statement in full: 

‘Anti-Semitism is absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes. As Leader of the Labour Party I was always determined to eliminate all forms of racism and root out the cancer of anti-Semitism. I have campaigned in support of Jewish people and communities my entire life and I will continue to do so.

‘The EHRC’s report shows that when I became Labour leader in 2015, the Party’s processes for handling complaints were not fit for purpose. Reform was then stalled by an obstructive party bureaucracy. But from 2018, Jennie Formby and a new NEC that supported my leadership made substantial improvements, making it much easier and swifter to remove anti-Semites. My team acted to speed up, not hinder the process.

‘Anyone claiming there is no anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is wrong. Of course there is, as there is throughout society, and sometimes it is voiced by people who think of themselves as on the left.

‘Jewish members of our party and the wider community were right to expect us to deal with it, and I regret that it took longer to deliver that change than it should.

‘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. While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.’

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Labour tainted by anti-Semitism accusations during Jeremy Corbyn’s five years as leader 

The anti-Semitism scandal has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader  in 2015.

Here is a timeline of the controversies: 

April 2016:

Labour MP Naz Shah is suspended for anti-Semitic posts – including one in which she appeared to endorse calls for Israelis to be deported to the US. 

She apologises and is given a formal warning.  

Ken Livingstone goes on the radio to defend Ms Shah – but sparks fresh controversy by claiming that Hitler supported Zionism. 

Naz Shah

Naz Shah

Naz Shah

He is suspended by Labour but refuses to apologise and has repeated the claim many times.

He eventually quits Labour two years later, saying his suspension has become a distraction.

June 2016: 

A two-month inquiry by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti finds that Labour is not overrun by anti-Semitism. 

But the launch is overshadowed when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth flees it in tears after being accused by Corbyn supporter Marc Wadsworth of colluding with the press.

Critics accuse the report of being a whitewash and Ms Chakrabarti is widely criticised for accepting a peerage from Jeremy Corbyn shortly afterwards.

October 2016: 

The Home Affairs Select Committee says Labour is guilty of incompetence over its handling of anti-Semitism and of creating a safe space for people with ‘vile attitudes towards Jewish people’.

March 2018: 

It is revealed that Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural and said the offensive art should be removed.

He apologises saying he did not properly look at the picture before he made the post.

Jewish leaders take the unprecedented step of holding a demonstration outside Parliament protesting Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

Several Labour MPs address the crowds.

April 2018:

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth was expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism in 2018

Marc Wadsworth is expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism. 

Meanwhile, Labour Jewish MPs tell of the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in a powerful parliamentary debate – and round on their leader for failing to tackle it. 

July 2018:

The Labour leadership sparks fresh anger by failing to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism

Peter Willsman, a strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is secretly taped ranting that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’ invented the anti-Semitism storm engulfing Labour. 

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour's ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was 'amazed' there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour's ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was 'amazed' there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, Peter Willsman said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, he said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

He claimed ‘some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump – they are Trump fanatics’ before shouting: ‘So I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.’

August 2018:

Jeremy Corbyn issues a video insisting he is committed to tackling the racism – but it is panned by Jewish leaders.

Corbynistas mount a social media campaign to get deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to quit after he criticises the party’s handling of anti-Semitism. 

The Daily Mail exclusively publishes photos of Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath at a ceremony where a terrorist linked to the Munich massacre was honoured.

The Labour leader insists he was there to honour others killed – but faces fresh calls to quit over the scandal. 

February 2019: 

Nine MPs including Luciana Berger, Joan Ryan and Ian Austin are among those who quit the Labour Party with broadsides at inaction over anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, had faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’.

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become 'institutionally anti-Semitic'

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become 'institutionally anti-Semitic'

Berger, the Jewish Liverpool Wavertree MP, faced a barrage of attacks from members of her own local party as well as wider abuse, said Labour had become ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’

Enfield MP Joan Ryan was attacked because she was the chairwoman of Labour friends of Israel. And Dudley’s Ian Austen, who adoptive father was Jewish, said he had become ‘ashamed’ of what the party had become under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

November 2019: 

MP Chris Williamson, a close ally of Mr Corbyn, quits the party after being blocked from restanding in his Derby North seat at the general election. He had been suspended after saying that Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism.

Mr Corbyn later faced an anti-Semitism row of his own after a major intervention by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. He accused the left-winger of allowing the ‘poison’ of anti-Semitism to take root in Labour. His comments were later backed up by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Corbyn declined repeatedly to apologise to British Jews in a searing interview by the BBC’s Andrew Neil and said that Mr Mirvis was ‘wrong’. 

December 2019: 

Labour is humiliated in a general election it voted to trigger. Mr Corbyn leads the party to its worst defeat since the 1930s, handing Boris Johnson an 80-seat majority. Among the losses are a broad swathe of Red Wall seats – Labour heartlands that have voted for the party for decades.

Mr Corbyn announces he will step down as party leader, triggering a leadership election. He backs Corbynite shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey to succeed him.

April 2020 

Moderate former shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer beats Ms Long-Bailey to the leadership, but he retains her as shadow education secretary in his shadow cabinet.

That month an internal party report finds that anti-Semitism was so rife within Labour that some members’ views were like those of neo-Nazis.

Investigators said prejudice against Jews became common within the party and revealed Mr Corbyn did little to help discipline offenders until two years ago.

The report highlighted ‘a litany of mistakes and missed opportunities’ amid strained relations between Mr Corbyn’s office and Labour HQ, but a better approach to anti-Semitism complaints had since been established.

Nearly 900 members have been investigated or suspended for anti-Jewish hate in the past three years with 63 expelled.

 June 2020

Sir Keir sacks Ms Long-Bailey after she praised an interview in which actress Maxine Peake peddled an ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory’.

The shadow education secretary posted a link to an interview in which Peake – one of her constituents – claimed that US police learned ‘neck-kneeling’ restrain techniques used on murdered black man George Floyd from Israeli spies. The remark was described as ‘textbook casual anti-Semitism’ by Labour MPs.

Ms Long-Bailey sparked fury by describing the ex-Communist star of TV programmes including Shameless as an ‘absolute diamond’. She later tried to excuse the message by claiming she had not been endorsing all the content of the article.

July 2020

Labour makes an unreserved apology to seven whistleblowers smeared by the party after they raised concerns over anti-Semitism.

Sir Keir Starmer agrees to pay ‘substantial damages’ to former employees who contributed to a BBC probe into whether the party had victimised Jews.

In a humiliating statement in the High Court, the party accepted it had made ‘false and defamatory’ comments about the whistleblowers and had caused them ‘distress, embarrassment and hurt’.

The party also paid damages to John Ware, the veteran journalist behind the Panorama programme. It is believed the affair cost Labour up to £500,000 in legal costs and damages. 

But hard-Left former leader Mr Corbyn said it was ‘disappointing’ that the party had settled the claim, adding that it was a ‘political decision, not a legal one’ – prompting the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism to call for him to be suspended from the Labour Party.

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