A Jewish organisation has referred the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission citing its “discrimination against Jews”.
The announcement came as the organisation confirmed it had appointed Dame Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin as its patrons, after they were warned about their conduct over the issue of anti-Semitism in the party.
In its complaint to the Commission, the CAA said it had cited Labour’s refusal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism with all its examples.
It also cited the party’s “failure to investigate previous complaints against [Jeremy] Corbyn, unreasonable delay and secrecy in disciplinary investigations, bias in disciplinary matters and victimisation of Labour MPs who stand up to anti-Semitism”.
This included Hodge and Austin, the organisation said, after Hodge swore at Corbyn and called him “an anti-Semite”. Days later Austin was warned over his conduct towards party chair Ian Lavery on the matter, but denied being abusive.
The CAA said it was also making a formal complaint to the Labour Party about Corbyn personally, for hosting a parliamentary event in 2010, which “promoted the narrative that Israel is engaged in acts comparable to Nazi war crimes”.
It added that it had also complained about a Press TV interview Corbyn gave in 2012 after the network had its license revoked by Ofcom, in which he suggested “the hand of Israel” was behind recent deaths in Egypt.
“The evidence shows beyond all doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and the Labour Party has become institutionally anti-Semitic,” said CAA chairman Gideon Falter. “The problem is not one man but an entire movement.”
He added that the CAA had taken the “extraordinary step” of complaining to the Equality and Human Rights Commission because “Corbyn and the party have no intention of taking action”.
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The CAA referral made the complaint to Labour about comments by Mr Corbyn and his hosting of a Holocaust Memorial Day event in 2010 at which speakers reportedly compared the actions of Israel in Gaza to the Nazis.
The Labour leader acknowledged that he had appeared alongside people “whose views I completely reject” and apologised for the “concerns and anxiety” that caused.
He said: “The main speaker at this Holocaust Memorial Day meeting, part of a tour entitled ‘never again – for anyone’, was a Jewish Auschwitz survivor. Views were expressed at the meeting which I do not accept or condone.
“In the past, in pursuit of justice for the Palestinian people and peace in Israel/Palestine, I have on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject. I apologise for the concerns and anxiety that this has caused.”