The left-wing UK Labour Party was on the receiving end of a damning report Thursday that found it “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” over its inability to root out anti-Jewish hatred within its membership.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it “identified serious failings” in the opposition party’s leadership in addressing the long-term antisemitism problem.
The watchdog gave the party an unlawful act notice, meaning it has to publish an action plan within six weeks, bringing further woe to a party plagued by accusations of antisemitism from 2016, during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn always insisted he was getting to grips with the issue and had improved the party’s internal disciplinary procedures, although this report found otherwise.
EXPOSED: Corbyn’s ‘Deeply Anti-Semitic’ Comments, Teach ‘Zionists a Lesson’ https://t.co/Sgs4elUwwJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 24, 2018
Sir Keir Starmer replaced Corbyn in April, saying tackling antisemitism within the party was his “priority” although he has yet been able to point to a single act that would back his promise of firm action againt Labour anti-semites.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the findings delivered a “damning verdict on what Labour did to Jews under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies.”
The @EHRC report is a "damning verdict on what Labour did to Jews under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies."
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) October 29, 2020
In its report, the watchdog found the party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act, namely:
- Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints
- Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints
In a statement, it said: “The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”
The Labour Party has until 10 December to draft an action plan to implement the recommendations, which is legally enforceable by the court if not fulfilled.
The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that this is "the end" of Jeremy Corbyn, blaming the election loss on the "Jewish vote." https://t.co/iXr4GLWclw
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 13, 2019
The new report comes barely six months after an internal Labour investigation found antisemitism was rife in the party, and that some members held borderline “neo-Nazi” views, as Breitbart London reported.
In July Labour agreed to pay substantial damages to seven whistleblowers who sued the party for defamation over an antisemitism dispute.
The seven former employees appeared on a BBC investigative program last year looking into whether Labour was anti-Semitic. They criticized the party´s handling of antisemitism complaints, and sued the party when it issued a statement describing the group as having “personal and political axes to grind.”
Labour agreed to pay damages to the journalist who made the television program, and apologized for alleging at the time he “invented quotes” and “flouted journalistic ethics.” The total amount of the damages wasn’t disclosed.