Jeremy Corbyn Suspended From the Labour Party

The decision comes after a damning report into how Labour handled complaints of anti-Semitism, and Corbyn's subsequent comments.
October 29, 2020, 1:30pm
Jeremy Corbyn
Photo: Getty/Ian Forsyth.

Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party, six months after he stepped down as leader.

The decision came in the wake of a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into the handling of complaints of anti-Semitism by Labour.

The report found that Labour had acted unlawfully under the Equality Act 2010, due to “unlawful harassment” and “other anti-Semitic conduct.”

In a Facebook statement, Corbyn wrote that anti-Semitism is “absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes.”

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He wrote that one anti-Semite “is too many,” but added that the “scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”

In response to Corbyn’s comments about the report’s findings, Labour announced it was suspending its former leader and removing the whip from him in the Commons.

A spokesperson for the Labour party said, “In light of his comments made today, and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

Responding to his suspension, Corbyn wrote on Twitter, “I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me. I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an anti-Semitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong. I will continue to support a zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.”

Speaking at a virtual press conference earlier on Thursday, Keir Starmer, who replaced Corbyn as Labour leader in April, said he had found the EHRC report “hard to read,” and that it represented a “day of shame” for Labour.

The EHRC inquiry, launched in 2019, found specific examples of “harassment, discrimination and political interference,” as well as a “lack of leadership” on the issues, contradicting Labour’s stated zero-tolerance attitude to anti-Semitism.

“We have failed Jewish people. Our members. Our supporters. And the British public. And so: on behalf of the Labour Party: I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused,” Starmer said.

“Those who deny there is a problem are part of the problem,” said Starmer, who was speaking before Corbyn was suspended. “Those who say it is exaggerated or factional are part of the problem.”

Labour has been given until December to draft an action plan in response to the report’s findings.