Labour news: Former MP blasts Keir Starmer for reinstating Corbyn amid anti-semitism row | UK | News (Reports)


The former Liverpool Riverside MP stood down in October 2019 over concerns about anti-semitism in the Labour Party. Yesterday saw Mr Corbyn readmitted as a Labour member after he was suspended for comments about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on anti-semitism in the party. Now Ms Ellman has appeared on BBC Newsnight to urge Sir Keir to refuse Mr Corbyn the party whip.

On Newsnight, Ms Elmman said refusing the former Labour leader the party whip would Sir Keir’s leadership was committed to “rid the party of this dreadful stain” of anti-semitism.

She said: “There clearly are problems looking at today’s decision, and what Keir Starmer and the chief whip should do now is to refuse to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn and that way they can show they are determined, as they say they are, to rid the party of this dreadful stain.”

The former MP was then asked about her reaction to Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking and vocal critic of Mr Corbyn, potentially resigning as Labour MP today and said: “Margaret Hodge has been a valiant opponent of racism in the party and Jeremy Corbyn directly.

“She has fought very hard against anti-semitism in the party, it would be a tragedy that at this stage, under a new leader, she felt forced to resign.”

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn reinstated: Why was Jeremy Corbyn suspended from Labour party? Explained

It followed Mr Corbyn’s readmission to the Labour Party following his reaction to the ECHR report.

The former Labour leader issued a statement saying he was “pleased to have been reinstated” by a panel of the party’s National Executive Committee, and also added: “To be clear, concerns about anti-Semitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated’.”

Sir Keir however added it was a “painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle anti-Semitism”.

He then said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s statement in response to the EHRC report was wrong and completely distracted from a report that identified unlawful conduct in our tackling of racism within the Labour Party. This should shame us all.”

The ECHR report released last month found that Labour under Mr Corbyn’s leadership had committed unlawful acts under the Equality Act 2010.

It said: “While there have been some improvements in how the Labour Party deals with antisemitism complaints, 25 our analysis points to a culture within the Party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”

The report made no specific claims to Mr Corbyn being anti-semitic himself, rather that the then-Labour leader and his office failed to process complaints adequately, and reported evidence of “political interference in the handling of anti-semitism complaints throughout the period of the investigation”.

It then recommended the party continue to build on Sir Keir’s commitment to rebuilding ties with Jewish communities and “make sure that (Labour) has a system and culture that encourages members to challenge inappropriate behaviour”.

Following the reports release, Labour became divided on Mr Corbyn and Sir Keir in an intense row.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “Jeremy is a thoroughly decent man, but he has an absolute blind spot and a denial when it comes to some of these issues.”

Momentum, a left-wing political organisation, said in response to Mr Corbyn’s suspension: “It is a massive attack on the left by the new leadership and should be immediately lifted in the interests of party unity.”

Dame Hodge said the suspension showed Labour was “finally saying enough is enough, anti-Semitism can never be tolerated”.


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