A Pro-Corbyn faction within the Labour Party is reportedly planning to present a motion at the Party’s conference in September to reinstate the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
The proposal, drafted by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, would hand power over Labour’s disciplinary process as it affects MPs to members, enabling them to restore Mr Corbyn to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), from which he is indefinitely suspended.
The move is seen as a challenge by the far-left within the Party against Sir Keir Starmer, but Party sources have apparently dismissed the threat, insisting that Mr Corbyn has the power to return to the PLP himself by apologising. Motions that are legally impracticable can be prevented from coming forward at conference.
Last month, Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved, in line with Labour’s Action Plan agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), to put forward a semi-independent disciplinary system for a vote at this year’s Party conference. The proposal is still subject to approval at conference, and it remains to be seen whether Labour’s leadership is capable of implementing it in practice.
The NEC also voted to proscribe Labour Against the Witchhunt – an antisemitism-denial group – and the disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson’s Resist group, as well as two further far-left groups, paving the way for automatic expulsion of their members. It is believed that Labour Against the Witchhunt will be holding events in Brighton during Labour’s conference in the city.
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 EHRC’s 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.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is regrettable that pro-Corbyn factions in Labour are looking to use the Party’s conference to sabotage the Action Plan agreed between Labour and the EHRC, which calls for an independent disciplinary process. Far from having the whip restored, Jeremy Corbyn should be expelled from the Party. Antisemitism-denial groups also intend to hold parallel events alongside the conference, which is part of the same enterprise to continue denying the scale of anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party and stymie any progress in reversing the trend. This autumn will see a fight for Labour’s soul, and all eyes will be on the Party’s leadership to see whether it has the courage to win it.”
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.
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.