Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has urged supporters of Jeremy Corbyn not to tie up the party with costly legal actions in an attempt to secure his reinstatement.
Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party last month after claiming the scale of antisemitism in Labour had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
His comments came after an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that under his leadership Labour had unlawfully discriminated against Jewish members.
It has since been reported that former shadow attorney general Baroness (Shami) Chakrabarti is working on a legal case to get his suspension revoked.
However in an LBC radio phone-in, Sir Keir said the party should be focusing on campaigning and winning elections.
He said that he would raise the issue with Lady Chakrabarti – the author of an earlier, much-criticised report on antisemitism in the party – when he next spoke to her.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see yet more legal cases. I want to see the Labour Party focused on campaigning to win elections,” he said.
“We have got a massive set of elections next May, we have got a general election in 2024. We absolutely have to be focused on that.
“So I don’t want to see any Labour Party money or time tied up with yet more legal cases. I will talk to Shami about this when I next speak to her.”
Sir Keir denied it had been a “political decision” by general secretary David Evans to suspend Mr Corbyn, although he made clear he strongly supported the action against his predecessor.
“It is quite something when an Equality and Human Rights Commission, which was set up by a Labour government, finds the Labour Party in breach of a law that the Labour government passed,” he said.
“In those circumstances I think it is very important to take tough decisions.”
Sir Keir said he was committed to putting in place measures to implement the commission’s recommendations by next month’s deadline.
“We have been anticipating this report. We have done quite a lot of the hard work already. We will hand that plan on time to commission and then I hope we can sign it off and start working to it,” he said.
“I think what those who were most pained by our failure to deal with anti-Semitism want is an honest acknowledgement by the Labour Party of the scale of the problem and to see us committed to changing it.
“That is the commitment I will give and I will deliver on.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.