Britain’s opposition Labor Party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday over comments he made following a report that under his leadership the party was responsible for illegal harassment and discrimination. Corbyn has vowed to contest a “political” move to suspend him.
Corbyn’s successor, Keir Starmer, apologized and said Labor was facing a “day of shame” after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found serious flaws in how the party had handled allegations of anti-Semitism within its ranks.
Corbyn’s mandate was marred by persistent complaints of anti-Semitism in the party and criticism of the leader’s reaction.
He was suspended after saying he did not accept all the report’s findings, that his attempts to reform grievance processes had been halted by “obstructive party bureaucracy” and that the scale of the problem had been overestimated for political reasons.
“In light of his remarks today and his lack of withdrawal subsequently, the Labor Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation,” Labor said in a statement.
The party added that it had removed the Labor whip from Corbyn, meaning the former leader would no longer be able to attend the lower house’s votes as Labor legislator.
Corbyn said he would “strongly challenge” his suspension in a Twitter post describing the movement as a “political intervention.”
“I have made it very clear that those who deny that there has been an anti-Semitism problem in the Labor Party are wrong,” said the former Labor leader.
I will strongly challenge the political intervention to suspend me.
I have made it very clear that those who deny that there has been an anti-Semitism problem in the Labor Party are wrong.
I will continue to support a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of racism.
– Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 29, 2020
Starmer said he accepted the EHRC’s report “fully” and would implement all of its recommendations.
“It’s a day of shame for the Labor Party. We have failed the Jewish people … I am really sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused,” said Starmer, who had a leading role under Corbyn’s leadership but has tried for to eliminate the problem since the takeover.
“Never again will we fail to tackle anti-Semitism and never again will we lose your confidence.”
( Jowharwith REUTERS)