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26 Nov 2020 14:03
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  •   Home > News > International

    Former leader Jeremy Corbyn suspended by UK Labour over reaction to anti-Semitic report

    Former UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is suspended by the Labour Party over comments he made in the wake of a damning independent report on anti-Semitism within the party during his leadership.


    Former UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended by the Labour Party over comments he made in the wake of a damning independent report on anti-Semitism within the party during his leadership.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found serious failings in how Labour had dealt with allegations of anti-Semitism with its ranks, and ruled that the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination.

    Mr Corbyn, who stepped down as leader after his 2019 general election loss to Boris Johnson's Conservative Party, was criticised for a lack of response to complaints of anti-Semitism within the party throughout his tenure as leader.

    He was suspended after saying he did not accept all the report's findings, that his attempts at reforming complaints processes had been stalled by "obstructive party bureaucracy" and that the scale of the problem had been overstated for political reasons.

    "In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation," Labour said in a statement.

    The party added it had removed the Labour whip from Mr Corbyn, meaning that the former leader will no longer be able to take part in House of Commons votes as a Labour parliamentarian.

    Mr Corbyn tweeted that he would "strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me".

    Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Corbyn's successor, said he accepted the EHRC's report "in full" and would implement all its recommendations.

    "It is a day of shame for the Labour Party," Sir Keir said.

    "We have failed Jewish people... I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused.

    "Never again will we fail to tackle anti-Semitism and never again will we lose your trust."

    Sir Keir, the former head of public prosecutions in the UK, held a senior role under Mr Corbyn's leadership but has tried to stamp out the problem since taking over.

    In June he sacked Corbyn supporter and leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary after she shared an article on social media which contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

    ABC/wires

    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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