David Miliband: Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism row ‘appalling’

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David Miliband: Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of antisemitism row ‘appalling’

Former foreign secretary said the party had gone through a 'dreadful, dark, shameful period', as he made remarks ahead of the release of the EHRC report into Jew-hate

David Miliband

(Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger)
David Miliband (Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger)

Labour former foreign secretary David Miliband has said that ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the antisemitism controversy that rocked the party was “appalling”.

Speaking ahead of the much-anticipated release of a report into the situation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Thursday, Mr Miliband said Mr Corbyn had failed to deal with the issue properly.

Mr Miliband said Labour had gone through a “dreadful, dark, shameful period”.

He told Times Radio: “I’m not going to claim I know what’s in Jeremy Corbyn’s heart.

“What I’m clear about is that he failed to deal with this issue in a way that was appalling in all its aspects.

“Whether it be cartoons or statements, they reflected a complete blindness to the issue and to the importance of it.”

The human rights watchdog launched its landmark probe in May 2019 following persistent allegations of antisemitism under former leader Mr Corbyn.

His successor as leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that tackling the issue and rebuilding trust with the Jewish community is a top priority for him.

A draft version of the EHRC report was sent to Labour in July, as under the Equality Act 2010, the subject of an investigation by the commission must be given at least 28 days in order to make representations of its findings before the final report is released.

The report has looked at the party’s disciplinary processes and response to complaints.

The release comes after Mr Corbyn’s former aide Karie Murphy insisted that the party removed antisemites “more quickly, transparently and effectively than ever before” during his tenure.

Mr Miliband said he felt “shame” about the situation.

He said: “I can honestly say I never thought I would see the day when the word antisemitism and Labour were in the same sentence.

“Never mind headline, never mind Commission on Human Rights investigation.

“It’s a dreadful, dark, shameful period and the failure to be clear, the failure to be decisive, the failure to say that anyone who is an anti-Semite isn’t welcome in the Labour Party, the failure to clear that out is a source of shame for me as someone who’s still a member of the Labour Party.”


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