Robert Collins
Robert Collins
2 min of reading
  • The report said in two cases party members “committed unlawful harassment” against Jewish people and their allies.
  • Officials in Britain's opposition Labour Party didn't take steps to respond to anti-semitism.
  • The Equality and Human Rights commission finds significant failures in how they handled these allegations. 

Britain (SK) — The U.K. equalities watchdog said Thursday that Labour Party committed “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination”, but officials in Britain's opposition Labour Party didn't take steps to respond to anti-Semitism. The Equality and Human Rights Commission finds “significant failures” and a “lack of leadership” in how the left-of-center party handles allegations of anti-Semitism.

Labour leader Keir Starmer promised “a culture change in the Labour Party”. “It is a day of shame for the Labour Party” he said.

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.

His predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, led the party when the acts described in the report occurred. The party responded by suspending Corbyn, who has represented Labour in Parliament since 1983.

The report said in two cases party members “committed unlawful harassment” against Jewish people and their allies. It said there were many more accounts of harassment by ordinary party members, but that Labour could not be held accountable for them as the perpetrators did not have official roles. The Equality Commission also said there was evidence “of political interference in the handling of anti-Semitism complaints” by the party leader's office. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the report marked a historical nadir for the Labour Party.

Starmer, elected leader in April, has vowed to counter prejudice and improve relations with the Jewish community. He is also trying to direct the Social Democratic party back to the center after the divergent tenure of Corbyn. “If after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report, there are still those who think there's no problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, that it's all exaggerated, or a factional attack, then, frankly, you are part of the problem, too”.

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