Labour leader welcomes ‘transparency’ after Formby releases antisemitism data

Labour leader welcomes ‘transparency’ after Formby releases antisemitism data

Labour leader's inner circle says it wants to rebuilt 'historic relationship' with the Jewish community as it shows 'solidarity with Luciana Berger

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) and his shadow cabinet at the Labour Party annual conference 

Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) and his shadow cabinet at the Labour Party annual conference Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A Labour source said Jeremy Corbyn’s top team welcomed the “transparency” of the party’s decision to release antisemitism expulsion figures, and expressed their “solidarity” with MP Luciana Berger.

Shadow cabinet ministers have committed to rebuilding trust and the “historic relationship” with the Jewish community amid swathes of criticism over the Labour Party’s handling of antisemitism allegations.

Moves to hold a vote of no confidence in Berger, a prominent critic of Corbyn over his handling of antisemitism and his position on Brexit, were withdrawn last week after a heated row in the party ranks.

Meanwhile Labour revealed on Monday night that it had received 673 allegations of antisemitism by its members over the past 10 months, leading to 12 individuals being expelled.

Following a meeting of the shadow cabinet on Tuesday, a Labour source said: “The shadow cabinet welcomed the transparency of the release of figures.

“They expressed their solidarity with Luciana Berger over the antisemitic abuse she’s received. They said it was right that the motions were withdrawn.

“They expressed support for the work carried out by party staff led by Jennie Formby to improve processes and a commitment was made to continuously review processes so they are as robust as possible.

“The shadow cabinet committed to rebuilding trust and the historic relationship with the Jewish community.

“They also showed support for the role of members in the party and party democracy.”

The figures were released a week after an explosive meeting at Westminster which saw MPs accuse party general secretary Formby of failing to tackle the issue adequately.

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A motion demanding the release of information about disciplinary cases was passed by the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).

Releasing the figures ahead of the further PLP meeting on Monday, Formby said she had “pushed hard” to persuade the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) to allow their publication.

Of the 673 complaints between April 2018 and January 2019, some 211 resulted in the issue of a notice of investigation and a further 96 cases saw members immediately suspended.

In 146 less serious cases, members were given a written warning and in 220 there was not sufficient evidence of a breach of party rules to proceed with investigation.

The NEC’s Antisemitism Disputes Panel has reached decisions on 96 of the cases where notices of investigation or suspensions were applied.

In a further 44 cases, individuals left the party after being presented with evidence.

Other cases are still under investigation or have been halted after uncovering evidence which meant they could not proceed further.

Of those dealt with by the Disputes Panel, 16 were issued with formal NEC warnings and 25 with first written warnings, while six were referred for further investigation and seven had no further action taken.

Another 42 were referred to the next stage of the complaints process, the independent National Constitutional Committee (NCC), which expelled 12 members and imposed other sanctions on six more.

Other NCC cases are still to be completed.

Labour received another 433 complaints, more than 30% of the total, about people who turned out not to be in the party at all.

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