Labour crisis: Keir Starmer ‘owes apology’ amid Jeremy Corbyn antisemitism row | UK | News (Reports)


The damning claim was made by Euan Philipps of Labour Against Antisemitism, a group aiming to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people. The Labour leader said he supported his predecessor’s suspension last week as he aims to enforce a no tolerance policy towards antisemitism, but he has faced questions after he served in a Shadow Cabinet that tried to get Mr Corbyn into Number 10 during last year’s election campaign. Mr Philipps said Sir Keir also owes an apology and should take some responsibility for how the Labour Party got into this position.

He told the The Daily Show podcast: “Every single Labour MP in the House of Commons stood for election under Corbyn’s leadership and they all campaigned to get him into Downing Street.

“That’s not a particularly good look. Keir Starmer played the game and now he has become leader, but yes he does questions to ask himself and he does have apologies to make himself.

“When people of Keir Starmer’s authority stood there in the Shadow Cabinet and said ‘Corbyn’s a good guy’, that kind of sends out a message that the antisemitism issue wasn’t as serious as the Jewish community was making out.

“He does have culpability for that, I think it would be good to see self-reflection from Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner as well who dismissed Luciana Berger.

“From all those senior Labour figures who were happy enough to make him Prime Minister. Yes it’s good that there has been strong action now, but the Labour Party needs to have a good look at themselves.”

The Labour Party’s divisions widened last week after Mr Corbyn’s suspension.

The EHRC released a damning report which found major issues with Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints by the leadership, a problem that has followed the party since Mr Corbyn took charge in 2015.

The report claimed Labour could have addressed the antisemitism crisis more effectively “if the leadership had chosen to do so”.

READ MORE:Jeremy Corbyn’s heated row with Keir Starmer over antisemitism

It also said that Labour breached the Equality Act in two cases, committing “unlawful harassment” against Jewish people while dealing with cases relating to Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley.

The report said: “We found specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference in our evidence.

“But equally of concern was a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues, which is hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism.”

It added: “Although some improvements have been made to the process for dealing with antisemitism complaints, it is hard not to conclude that antisemitism within the Labour Party could have been tackled more effectively if the leadership had chosen to do so.”

The report also stated it had found evidence of interference in complaint cases by the party leadership.

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The EHRC found the party guilty of “indirectly discriminatory and unlawful” actions when dealing with complaints, but Mr Corbyn responded with a defence.

He said: “One antisemite 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.

“That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome. While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.”

Mr Corbyn was quickly suspended from the party, with leader Sir Keir supporting the decision.

Sir Keir said: “I made it clear that we won’t tolerate antisemitism or the denial of antisemitism through the suggestion it is exaggerated or factional.

“That’s why I was disappointed with Jeremy Corbyn’s response, and that’s why appropriate action has been taken.”

Mr Corbyn has said he will challenge his suspension.


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