Labor continues in special measures for anti-Semitism

Sir Keir Starmer – Jessica Taylor/UK PARLIAMENT

Labor remains in special measures on anti-Semitism even as its two-year action plan is drawing to a close, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

The party was forced to come up with a plan of action or face legal action after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) discovered “serious flaws” under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The action plan’s two-year monitoring period ended in December 2022 and the equality watchdog is preparing to make a statement to mark its end.

But the EHRC is not yet expected to remove the party from special measures, suggesting that it believes some issues remain unresolved.

Second labor part to be investigated by EHRC

Labor joined the British National Party (BNP) in becoming the second political party to be investigated by the UK’s human rights watchdog, after it launched an official inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism.

The EHRC in 2009 launched legal action against the BNP over concerns about ethnic restrictions on its membership.

The EHRC announced in May 2019 that it would undertake a comprehensive review of the Labor Party’s approach to anti-Jewish hate claims.

The investigation was intended to determine whether the party or its employees and agents have committed illegal acts, as well as to assess whether Labor’s response to complaints has complied with the law.

The Labor Party’s 16-month review concluded by accusing Corbyn of presiding over “serious flaws” in the system for handling allegations of anti-Semitism.

Labor ‘could not prevent acts of harassment and discrimination’

Its damning report, released in October 2020, ruled that the party had broken the law by failing to prevent “acts of harassment and discrimination” and said Corbyn’s leadership “did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, cases, it could be seen to accept it.”

The researchers pointed to “a lack of leadership within the Labor Party on these issues,” which the report said was “difficult to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism.”

He said: “The Labor Party must live up to this commitment and recognize the impact that multiple investigations and years of not addressing anti-Semitism have had on the Jewish people.”

The report also added that it “uncovered serious flaws” in the way complaints were handled up to at least 2018.

‘The need for vigilance will not end’

A Labor source confirmed that the party is still in special measures, but added that they are hopeful that they will soon be taken out of it.

“Even when we are, it would not mean the need for surveillance is over, that will be there regardless of the outcome of the review,” they told The Sunday Telegraph.

“Unfortunately, we will continue to discover people in the membership who are anti-Semitic and we will continue to take action against them.”

Sir Keir Starmer used a speech last week at the Labor Party’s annual Conference in London to tell members they must continue to “fight anti-Semitism and change our party.”

He warned that if they don’t, the party would be ineligible, saying: “If we stop for a moment, we give up the right to change our communities, our cities, our country. That is what a party capable of serving the country means.”

Earlier this week, a Labor MP was forced to apologize after calling the Israeli government “fascist” and referring to the country as an “apartheid state”.

Kim Johnson was criticized by Sir Keir’s spokesman for her comments during Prime Minister’s Questions at lunchtime on Wednesday.

It is understood that she was summoned by Labor’s top whip before returning to Parliament later that day to apologize for the comments, which came amid a recent surge in violence in Israel and Palestine.

The Labor Party and the EHRC declined to comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *