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Jeremy Corbyn suspended from the Labour Party over reaction to anti-Semitism report

Corbyn has said he will “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend” him from the party.

File image of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
File image of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Image: PA

THE LABOUR PARTY in the UK has suspended Jeremy Corbyn over his reaction to a report into anti-Semitism in the party during his leadership.

The damning report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

Corbyn has said he will “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend” him from the party. 

He tweeted: “I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.

I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.

Earlier today, Corbyn rejected some of the report’s findings and claimed the issue had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by his critics.

His comments prompted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to take decisive action against his predecessor.

Corbyn said he did “not accept all” of the findings of the EHRC report. 

A Labour Party spokesman said this afternoon: “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.”

Corbyn insisted he was not “part of the problem” over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism.

In a broadcast interview he said: “The numbers of cases in the public perception had become overstated.

The existence of the problem, I fully acknowledge, which is why I took action to end the problem in the party by introducing a process to get anti-Semites out of the party.

Current party leader Keir Starmer told a press conference today that the findings of the equality watchdog marked a “day of shame” and said he was “truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused”.

“If – after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report – there are still those who think there’s no problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, that it’s all exaggerated, or a factional attack, then, frankly, you are part of the problem too,” he said.

With the slogan “a new leadership” displayed prominently, he added: “And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.”

Pressed about his Corbyn’s remarks, Starmer said that he “would look carefully at what Jeremy Corbyn has said in full”, but added: “Those who deny there’s a problem are part of the problem.

“Under my leadership, we will have zero tolerance of anti-Semitism.”

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Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the EHRC report marks “a dark day” for the party.

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“It’s utterly shameful that, rather than being an ally and defending the Jewish community, the Labour Party not only failed to address anti-Semitism within the party, but oversaw unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl welcomed Corbyn’s suspension from the party.

She said: “Having presided over the descent of a proudly anti-racist party into a party that broke equalities law in its treatment of Jews, his shameless comments today showed that he remains part of the problem and is an obstruction to the resolution of the issue.”

Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said: “This is the right decision following Corbyn’s shameful reaction to the EHRC report.

Labour is finally saying enough is enough, anti-Semitism can never be tolerated in our party. Now we can finally move on.

Labour MP Harriet Harman said the suspension is “the right thing to do”.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell has described Corbyn’s suspension as “profoundly wrong” on Twitter.

“On the day we should all be moving forward & taking all steps to fight anti-Semitism, the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn is profoundly wrong,” he tweeted.

In interests of party unity let’s find a way of undoing & resolving this.

“I urge all party members to stay calm as that is the best way to support Jeremy and each other. Let’s all call upon the leadership to lift this suspension.”

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