Voice Of The Jewish News: Another Labour red letter day
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Voice Of The Jewish News: Another Labour red letter day

This week's editorial reflects on the Labour Party's apology to antisemitism whistleblowers, and what it means for the future of relations with the community

Jewish News
Labour leader Keir Starmer has sought to move the party beyond the row over antisemitism that marred much of his predecessor's tenure.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has sought to move the party beyond the row over antisemitism that marred much of his predecessor's tenure.

Jeremy Corbyn’s chickens are coming home to roost. Last week Labour received a draft of the highly-anticipated Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into antisemitism in the party. It considers allegations of the party “discriminating against, harassing and victimising Jewish people” and is expected to be made public within weeks. 

This week, Labour issued a momentous High Court apology to ex-staffers, who accused its top figures of sabotaging the disciplinary process investigating antisemitism. Seumas Milne and Jennie Formby were singled out as prime movers alongside the former party leader, who doggedly dismissed yesterday’s apology as a “political decision”.  

As joint-interim JLC chief executive Claudia Mendoza put it: “There’s no hill he (Corbyn) won’t die on for the cause.”

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Labour initially belittled the whistleblowers who bravely spoke out in a Panorama episode entitled Is Labour Anti-Semitic?, branding them “disaffected former officials” with “political axes to grind”.  Yesterday, the party played a more penitent tune. Mark Henderson, representing the party, said: “Labour publicly sets the record straight and apologises for the distress and embarrassment it has caused. Labour acknowledges these claims about the Claimants are untrue. We withdraw them and undertake not to repeat them”. The party will also pay “substantial” damages to those it abused for doing the right thing.

The Panorama revelations, as the imminent EHRC report will surely show, barely scratch the surface of the party’s wilful shortcomings while being led by a supposed life-long anti-racist.

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