Labour says reports of unresolved antisemitism cases ‘categorically untrue’
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Labour says reports of unresolved antisemitism cases ‘categorically untrue’

The Sunday Times said a party official complained in a leaked recording from the disciplinary committee in late October, with the 'vast majority' reported 18 months ago

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a BBC interview with Andrew Marr. (Photo credit: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a BBC interview with Andrew Marr. (Photo credit: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire)

Reports that Labour is overwhelmed with unresolved complaints about antisemitism within its ranks have been denied by the party as “categorically untrue”.

The Sunday Times said a Labour official complained in a leaked audio recording from the party’s disciplinary committee in late October that more than 130 cases remained outstanding even though the “vast majority” were reported 18 months ago.

Mr Corbyn has said his party has “zero tolerance” for antisemites, but the recording allegedly states that one unresolved case has been on the books for more than three years.

The paper says some of the cases are “disturbing”, with party members allegedly likening Jewish people to killer viruses and calling for the “extermination of every Jew on the planet”.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “All of these individuals are either expelled or suspended, and these claims about numbers of cases are categorically untrue.

“Jeremy Corbyn brought forward new powers, which are in operation, to expel individuals in cases of indisputable antisemitism in a matter of weeks, rather than months, which are far more efficient than the previous procedures.

“This is proof of the robust action the Party is taking to root out antisemitism. No other party has introduced rapid expulsion processes and it’s just been revealed that three Conservative candidates have engaged in antisemitism in recent years and haven’t apologised but the Conservatives are still refusing to suspend them.”

“It’s the NCC that has failed to hear cases quickly enough. It’s for precisely this reason we introduced rapid expulsion processes so we no longer have to wait for the NCC.“

It came as the Mail on Sunday reported that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre – a human rights organisation which conducts research on the Holocaust – had placed Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party first on its 2019 list of Top 10 Worst Global Anti-Semitic Incidents.

Labour branded it a “transparent political attack”, which they said has “nothing to do with tackling antisemitism”.

A party spokesman said: “This ranking is ridiculous and grossly offensive.

“This ranking is ridiculous and grossly offensive. Putting Jeremy Corbyn at the head of a list containing neo-Nazi synagogue shooters is a transparent political attack and has nothing to do with tackling antisemitism. This same organisation ranked Obama’s administration number one in 2016. This list has no credibility.”

There have been persistent complaints by Jewish groups that antisemitism has been allowed to flourish within the Labour ranks since Mr Corbyn became leader in 2015.

The leadership subsequently acknowledged that it was too slow to respond to the concerns, but has insisted that new measures have been put in place to deal with complaints more effectively.

The issue erupted into the General Election campaign last week, when the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis warned that “a new poison sanctioned from the top” had taken root in the party, and questioned Mr Corbyn’s fitness for office.

Mr Corbyn faced further criticism after he repeatedly refused to apologise during an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil – although he later did so during an appearance on ITV.

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