Campaign Against Antisemitism is calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be suspended from the Labour Party after he called the Party’s decision to settle the defamation case brought by the Panorama whistleblowers and the journalist John Ware “a political decision” that was “disappointing”.
Mr Corbyn said that the settlement reached today, which reportedly requires the Labour Party to issue an apology and pay damages and costs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, “risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations about action taken to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party in recent years.” In other words, Mr Corbyn was sticking to the same line that he and the Party took when he was Leader.
The outrage is exacerbated by the fact that ordinarily the Labour Party and Mr Corbyn might have been expected to stand up for whistleblowing workers who call out abuses by their employers. Indeed Mr Corbyn even tweeted as much in 2017, quoting his Shadow Attorney-General Shami Chakrabarti saying: “Whistleblowers keep us safe. We can’t allow them to be silenced.”
It now appears, however, that Mr Corbyn believes that those whistleblowers who tried to keep Jews safe by revealing how the Labour Party under his leadership failed to address antisemitism should be silenced.
Mr Corbyn has a long history of antisemitism controversies implicating him directly, and over 57,000 people signed our petition denouncing him as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.” Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted three complaints against Mr Corbyn over the years since 2016 and these complaints formed the basis of our referral of the Labour Party to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
It is past time for Mr Corbyn to be disciplined and suspended by the Labour Party.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “From the backbenches, Jeremy Corbyn continues to spread conspiracy theories to cover up how the Labour Party became institutionally racist under his leadership. A few weeks ago he gaslit the Jewish community by claiming that the EHRC is ‘part of the government machine’ and now he is gaslighting the whistleblowers he bullied, some almost to the point of suicide. We have been calling for Mr Corbyn to be disciplined since 2016. We are again calling on Sir Keir Starmer to suspend Mr Corbyn now and open a disciplinary investigation.”
The Panorama programme, titled “Is Labour Antisemitic?”, was televised in July 2019 and showed former Labour Party employees speaking out publicly to reveal Labour leader Mr Corbyn’s personal meddling in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism. The programme explained how senior Labour Party staffers, some of whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has known for years, used to run Labour’s disciplinary process independently, but soon after Mr Corbyn’s election as Party leader found themselves contending with his most senior aides, who were brazen in their efforts to subvert due process.
During the programme Labour’s press team made claims that the staffers featured had political axes to grind and lacked credibility, and the whistleblowers and Mr Ware commenced libel proceedings against the Labour Party. The libel cases were brought by Mark Lewis, a highly esteemed media lawyer who is also an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.