However, much of the damage caused during Mr Corbyn’s tenure has yet to be undone. Yesterday, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Corbyn’s successor, seeking at the very least a timetable for overhauling the Party’s disciplinary system. The letter followed one that we sent to Sir Keir last month, which he ignored.
Lord Triesman, Lord Turnberg and Lord Mitchell declared that they were re-joining the Party in response to Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on antisemitism.
Lord Triesman, a former chairman of the Football Association and General Secretary of the Labour Party under Tony Blair, said: “The Labour Party has in the past said it was dealing with antisemitism but did almost nothing. It was vital to see strong, practical action and with Keir we have seen just that. It’s the moment when being Jewish and Labour have been truly reconciled by active leadership. It is with considerable relief that I have re-joined the party.” He called Labour under Mr Corbyn’s leadership “plainly institutionally antisemitic”.
Lord Turnberg recalled how Labour under Mr Corbyn “seemed riddled with antisemitism” but that under this new leadership “I can now be proud again of being part of a great movement.”
Lord Mitchell said: “Four years ago, I took the heart-wrenching decision to leave the Labour Party because of the creeping antisemitism amongst senior leaders. As a Jew I felt that the party had become a very cold and unwelcoming house: I simply could not stay. The recent leadership changed my mind. Keir has lost no time in rebuilding trust with the Jewish community and positioning Labour as a credible alternative to this awful Conservative government. I am thrilled to be back home.”
In response, Sir Keir reiterated that “I remain utterly committed to rooting antisemitism out of the Labour Party and restoring trust with the Jewish community.” However, questions remain over Sir Keir’s commitment to following his utterances with real action.
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.