Labour Party Civil War: Jeremy Corbyn Faces Lawsuit over Antisemitism Row

BEESTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn attends a rally at Voluntary Action Broxtowe on February 23, 2019 in Beeston, England. Beeston is the constituency of former conservative MP Anna Soubry. Soubry recently quit the Conservative Party along with fellow MPs Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen. All …
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The former leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is facing possible legal action after he said that the party’s legal settlement with antisemitism whistleblowers gave “credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations”.

On Tuesday, the Labour Party agreed to pay substantial damages to the former workers who blew the whistle on antisemitism within the party in the BBC Panorama episode entitled “Is Labour Antisemitic?”

In response to the settlement, the septuagenarian socialist and former leader of the party wrote: “Our legal advice was that the party had a strong defence, and the evidence in the leaked Labour report that is now the subject of an NEC inquiry led by Martin Forde QC strengthened concerns about the role played by some of those who took part in the programme.”

“The decision to settle these claims in this way is disappointing, and risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations about action taken to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party in recent years.

“To give our members the answers and justice they deserve, the inquiry led by Martin Forde must now fully address the evidence the internal report uncovered of racism, sexism, factionalism and obstruction of Labour’s 2017 General Election campaign,” he added.

Following Corbyn’s comments, the lawyer representing the antisemitism whistleblowers and John Ware — the BBC Panorama reporter to whom the whistleblowers spoke — confirmed that the group is indeed pursuing legal action against Corbyn, according to ITV.

Mark Lewis, from Patron Law, said, “I can confirm that I have been instructed to pursue cases” over Mr Corbyn’s statement.

Following the legal settlement, which saw the party pay “substantial” damages to the antisemitism whistleblowers, Labour issued an “unreserved apology” to whistleblowers Kat Buckingham, Michael Creighton, Samuel Matthews, Dan Hogan, Louise Withers Green, Benjamin Westerman, and Martha Robinson, and to the BBC reporter, John Ware.

“We unreservedly withdraw all allegations of bad faith, malice, and lying. We would like to apologise unreservedly for the distress, embarrassment and hurt caused by their publication,” the party said.

Jeremy Corbyn’s replacement as leader of the party, Sir Keir Starmer, has attempted to distance himself from the far-left elements of the former leadership. In June, Starmer fired former leadership candidate and Corbyn ally Rebecca Long-Bailey from the Shadow Cabinet for sharing an article which contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

On Wednesday, Starmer told Boris Johnson that “the Labour Party is under new management”.

There are also rumours that Sir Keir may remove the whip from Corbyn, which would effectively expel the ageing socialist from the party.

Jewish Telegraph reporter Adam Cailler wrote: “According to a few Labour sources this morning, it’s ‘very possible’ and ‘highly likely’ that Jeremy Corbyn will have the whip removed very soon, as a result of some of the recommendations in the EHRC report.”

In response to the rumours, former Labour Party MP Tom Harris wrote in The Telegraph: “Removing the whip from Corbyn would be the right thing to do, but the price Starmer would pay would be an uncontrollable civil war that would conceivably split the party and leave each half as unelectable as the other.”

“Still, it would be fun to watch,” Harris added.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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