A long-awaited report into antisemitism in the Labour Party by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found evidence of “unlawful acts harassment and discrimination” as well as “political interference” in cases.
The statutory body had been asked whether the party under former leader Jeremy Corbyn had broken equalities law in failing to deal with the raft of cases in a timely and effective manner, and whether this had led to “institutional antisemitism”.
The report, published on Thursday morning, said there had been “a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it”, in comments that will confirm the Jewish leaders’ suspicions.
In its view, the EHRC said Labour had “failed to implement the recommendations” in three reports into antisemitism in the party, produced by Baroness Chakrabarti, Baroness Royall and the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Moreover, the panel said Labour had “failed… to take effective measures to stop antisemitic conduct from taking place,” noting that the concerns had first been raised four years ago.
Earlier this year the party paid seven former staffers six figures after they sued Labour for defamation. It followed an angry party response to their claims on a BBC Panorama programme, which alleged political interference in individual cases.
- READ MORE – Live blog: Equalities watchdog’s damning verdict on Labour antisemitism: GUILTY AS CHARGED
This week the EHRC 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”.
They added that this was “hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism… The Party has shown an ability to act decisively when it wants to”.
In one of the report’s most damning lines, the EHRC says: “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.”
Corbyn was replaced as Labour leader by Sir Keir Starmer shortly after the party’s historic and humiliating defeat during last year’s general election, prompting a changing of the guard, with socialist politicians now returned to the backbenches.
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