New legal challenge may be lodged against Labour in wake of EHRC report
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New legal challenge may be lodged against Labour in wake of EHRC report

Law firm representing Jewish Labour Movement said individuals who felt they had suffered harassment may now look to lodge claims at an employment tribunal

ITV political editor Robert Peston with Rebecca Long Bailey, Emily Thornberry, (who has since pulled out of the contest), Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy during the community's Labour leadership hustings in February (Marc Morris)
ITV political editor Robert Peston with Rebecca Long Bailey, Emily Thornberry, (who has since pulled out of the contest), Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy during the community's Labour leadership hustings in February (Marc Morris)

Lawyers acting for the Jewish Labour Movement say new legal challenges may be lodged against the Labour Party in light of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s findings of “discrimination and harassment” over antisemitism.

Mishcon de Reya, the City law firm, said individuals who felt they had suffered harassment may now look to lodge claims at an employment tribunal, claiming the EHRC report could give them “fuel”.

Labour has already paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds to seven former staffers, most of whom were complaints handlers, who alleged defamation after the party ripped into them following their claims on BBC Panorama.

Although the EHRC report makes a “general finding of harassment” against the party, a Mishcon lawyer said: “There are potential claims that can be brought in the employment tribunal.”

She said: “People who have been harassed and who have been subjected to antisemitic conduct, need to take some time to consider what was said in the report… There are potential claims that can be brought.

“They’re fact specific and relate to specific timings but the report may provide people with fuel and comfort that, where people did not feel brave enough to come out before, they now have the backing of an independent body that’s looked at this forensically and that has made these findings.”

The report’s findings are not necessarily binding in a court of law, she said, but they may be “influential”.

Looking to the future, JLM said it wanted to see “bold and decisive steps to radically change the culture” in the party, including “a fully independent disciplinary process, preventing casual bullying, intimidation and harassment, and implementing a proper education plan for party members”.

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