Labour’s chief whip demands Jeremy Corbyn ‘unequivocally’ apologises

[ad_1]

Labour’s chief whip has demanded that Jeremy Corbyn ‘unequivocally’ apologise for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’.

MP Nick Brown said the former-Labour leader caused ‘distress and pain’ to the Jewish community with his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report into antisemitism in the party.

In a letter, the chief whip told MP for Islington Mr Corbyn to ‘unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation’ apologise for his comments.

Labour's chief whip Nick Brown has demanded that Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) 'unequivocally' apologise for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was 'dramatically overstated for political reasons'

MP Nick Brown said the former-Labour leader caused 'distress and pain' to the Jewish community with his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report into antisemitism in the party

Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown (right) has demanded that Jeremy Corbyn (left) ‘unequivocally’ apologise for claiming that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party after saying anti-Semitism in Labour was ‘overstated’ in the wake of the UK’s EHRC report.

The report ruled that the Labour party had broken equality law under his leadership. 

But he was reinstated as a Labour member by the National Executive Committee following a meeting of a disciplinary panel three weeks later. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) last week blocked Mr Corbyn from sitting as a Labour MP, though said he would keep the decision not to restore the whip 'under review'

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) last week blocked Mr Corbyn from sitting as a Labour MP, though said he would keep the decision not to restore the whip ‘under review’

Mr Brown, writing to Mr Corbyn on Monday (his letter pictured), said that to inform an investigation into whether the Islington North MP broke the party's code of conduct he wanted him to consider apologising for his comments

Mr Brown, writing to Mr Corbyn on Monday (his letter pictured), said that to inform an investigation into whether the Islington North MP broke the party’s code of conduct he wanted him to consider apologising for his comments

He wrote (pictured): 'Will you unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation apologise for your comments?'

He wrote (pictured): ‘Will you unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation apologise for your comments?’

The charges against Labour in 130-page Equality and Human Rights Commission report

  • 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.

 

However, his successor as party leader Sir Keir Starmer last week blocked him from sitting as a Labour MP, though said he would keep the decision not to restore the whip ‘under review’.

Mr Brown, writing to Mr Corbyn on Monday, said that to inform an investigation into whether the Islington North MP broke the party’s code of conduct he wanted him to consider apologising for his comments.

He wrote: ‘Will you unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation apologise for your comments made on the morning of 29 October 2020, in particular for saying ‘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’, which caused such distress and pain to Jewish members of the Labour Party and the wider Jewish community?’

Mr Brown also asked Mr Corbyn to confirm that he will remove or edit his response – which he posted on Facebook, and asked for an assurance that he will cooperate fully with the party as it seeks to implement the EHRC’s recommendations.

A Labour spokesman said: ‘Following consultation with the Labour Leader, the Chief Whip has written to Jeremy Corbyn about his precautionary suspension from the whip.

‘In the interests of transparency, a copy of this letter has been put in the public domain. We will not be making any further comments.’

The EHRC report found Labour had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints, though Mr Corbyn said the scale of the issue had been ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’ by opponents inside and outside Labour, along with the media. 

He later attempted to clarify his comments in a statement to the party, saying concerns about anti-Semitism were ‘neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated”. 

The 130-page report 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’.

Among the charges levelled at Labour were the fact that out of 70 anti-Semitism complains analysed, 23 showed signs of ‘political interference’ by Mr Corbyn’s office and others.

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’.

Labour was found to have broken equalities law over two cases, including one which involved former London mayor Ken Livingstone 'using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of anti-Semitism were fake or smears' in 2016, before he quit the party

Labour was found to have broken equalities law over two cases, including one which involved former London mayor Ken Livingstone ‘using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of anti-Semitism were fake or smears’ in 2016, before he quit the party

Among the charges levelled at Labour were the fact that out of 70 anti-Semitism complains analysed, 23 showed signs of 'political interference' by Mr Corbyn's office and others

Among the charges levelled at Labour were the fact that out of 70 anti-Semitism complains analysed, 23 showed signs of ‘political interference’ by Mr Corbyn’s office and others

Additionally they broke equalities law over two cases, including one which involved former London mayor Ken Livingstone ‘using antisemitic tropes and suggesting that complaints of anti-Semitism were fake or smears’ in 2016, before he quit the party. 

Some were committed by well-known figure while others were carried out by relatively unknown local officials and councillors. 

Some failures were down to logistical and record-keeping failures, but others were caused by direct interference in the party’s complaints procedures by Jeremy Corbyn’s top team.

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *