New poll shows 60% of Labour members think antisemitic former leader Jeremy Corbyn should have the whip restored
According to a newly published YouGov poll, 60% of Labour members think that the antisemitic former leader Jeremy Corbyn should have the whip restored.
This worrying result from the poll, which was conducted among a sample size of 871 Labour members in Britain and ran for a total of five days, comes nearly one year after he was initially suspended from the Party, and though he was readmitted only weeks later, the whip has still not been restored to him.
It is clear that Mr Corbyn has still not recognised the antisemitism problem that was prevalent within the Labour Party during his tenure. Last month, in an interview at the Cambridge Union, when asked about Luciana Berger being “hounded out” of the Labour Party due to antisemitism, Mr Corbyn insisted that “Luciana was not hounded out of the Party; she unfortunately decided to resign from the Party”. Ms Berger was among a number of MPs who quit the Labour Party in protest at its institutional antisemitism.
In another recent poll of Labour members, conducted in late March by YouGov, it was revealed that over two thirds believe that the problem of antisemitism in the Party has been “exaggerated” or that there is not a serious problem. Given that a separate poll by Lord Ashcroft shortly after the 2019 General Election found that nearly three quarters of Labour members believed that the issue of antisemitism in the Party was “invented or wildly exaggerated by the right-wing media and opponents of Jeremy Corbyn”, it is difficult to see how progress has been made in changing the culture of the Party over the past year.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s latest Antisemitism Barometer, published at the start of the year (with polling conducted well over six months into Sir Keir’s tenure as leader), showed that British Jews feel that the Labour Party is more than twice as tolerant of antisemitism than any other political party. Remarkably, compared to the previous year’s figures (polled while Mr Corbyn was still leader of the Party), Labour performed worse, with 88 percent of respondents considering that the Party was too tolerant of antisemitism under Sir Keir compared with 86 percent the year before under Mr Corbyn. At times, this sentiment has spilled into the open.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a complaint against Jeremy Corbyn, holding him responsible for conduct that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Labour Party, as the Leader during the period of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) shameful findings. Given the serious detriment that this conduct has caused, we are seeking Mr Corbyn’s immediate resuspension and, if the complaint is upheld, we will be requesting his expulsion. On the day of the publication of the EHRC’s report, we also submitted a major complaint against Mr Corbyn and other sitting MPs. These complaints are yet to be acknowledged by the Party, and they must be investigated by an independent disciplinary process that the EHRC has demanded and Sir Keir has promised but has yet to introduce.
The Labour Party was found by the EHRC to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.
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.