Within minutes of our submission of a complaint against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and fifteen other sitting Labour MPs in relation to antisemitism, Sir Keir Starmer has suspended Mr Corbyn, pending an investigation.
Our letter to Sir Keir, which followed the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s unprecedented finding that the Labour Party committed unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination against Jewish people, urged him to take action.
The letter read: “That your Party became institutionally racist against Jews, causing more than two in five British Jews to consider leaving the country and necessitating the investigation that has now concluded, is an indelible stain on Labour and on those within your Party who stood by and let antisemitism take hold. The individuals responsible must at last be held to account.”
The letter submitted complaints against Mr Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Apsana Begum, Richard Burgon, Barry Gardiner, Afzal Khan, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Zarah Sultana and others.
The complaint against Mr Corbyn included his statement in reaction to the EHRC’s report, in which he said:“Anyone claiming there is no antisemitism in the Labour Party is wrong. Of course there is, as there is throughout society, and sometimes it is voiced by people who think of themselves as on the left. Jewish members of our party and the wider community were right to expect us to deal with it, and I regret that it took longer to deliver that change than it should. One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated.”
Within minutes of our letter and complaints being publicised, Mr Corbyn was suspended by the Labour Party, pending an investigation.
Joe Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations, said: “Shortly after submitting our complaint to Sir Keir regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s statement this morning and his past deeds, we have received confirmation that Mr Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party and had the whip withdrawn. This is a hugely significant turning point and an indicator of real change and accountability at last.
“We referred Labour to the EHRC precisely because it was not taking out complaints against Mr Corbyn seriously. Four years since our first complaint, Labour has finally begun to take action. Mr Corbyn is part of the problem, and at last our complaints against him and other sitting Labour MPs who seemed untouchable, are now being acted upon.”