Civil War: Labour Head Vows Anti-Semite Corbyn Won’t Be MP After Walkout Threat

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Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, left, sits waiting to speak next to Keir Starmer Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union during their election campaign event on Brexit in Harlow, England, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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The UK’s main opposition Labour party began a new battle on Wednesday over anti-Semitism, as its new leader Keir Starmer took a hardline stance on ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

Corbyn was suspended from the party last month for publicly minimizing the issue of anti-Semitism in Labour under his leadership, contrary to the resolute conclusions of a recent report on the issue. But in a surprise move less than three weeks later, a five-member panel of Labour officials made a decision on Tuesday to reinstate Corbyn’s membership after he issued a more conciliatory statement on the matter. The move enraged Jewish leaders and members, who had abandoned the party en masse under Corbyn’s rule.

But Labour’s new leader is determined to steer Labour into a new direction and said Wednesday that he won’t readmit Corbyn to the party’s parliamentary caucus, accusing him of sabotaging efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.

Starmer said his predecessor had “undermined and set back our work in restoring trust and confidence in the Labour Party’s ability to tackle anti-Semitism.”

Corbyn will continue to sit in Parliament, but as an independent lawmaker. Starmer’s move aroused a fresh round of fiction among the party’s members.

Starmer’s stance followed a threat on Tuesday by Dame Margaret Hodge, the Jewish Labour Movement’s parliamentary chair, that she would quit the party unless Starmer committed to denying Corbyn parliamentary membership. Hodge’s demand was reiterated by the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Labour Movement, as well as several other Labour parliamentarians and senior members of the party, who sent numerous messages of outrage to Starmer about the panel’s decision to reinstate Corbyn, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Hodge said she couldn’t comprehend the decision, saying it was “a broken outcome from a broken system…a factional, opaque and dysfunctional complaints process could never reach a fair conclusion.”

“This is exactly why the EHRC [Equality and Human Rights Commission] instructed Labour to set up an independent process!” she stated.

Labour has been grappling with allegations that anti-Semitism was allowed to fester under Corbyn, a long-time supporter of Palestinians and a critic of Israel who led the party for almost five years from 2015.

Illustrative: Protesters chant slogans during a demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism against alleged prejudice in the Labour Party, amid a row over the party’s handling of claims of anti-Semitism, outside the Labour Party headquarters, in London, Sunday April 8, 2018. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Corbyn was suspended from the party last month in the wake of a scathing report by Britain’s equalities watchdog. The Equality and Human Rights Commission said Labour officials had failed to stamp out anti-Semitism and committed “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.”

After the report was released, Corbyn accused opponents of exaggerating the problem for “political reasons” — a statement that got him suspended from the party.

On Tuesday, Corbyn issued a statement saying that concerns about anti-Semitism in Labour were not exaggerated, and the party must “never tolerate anti-Semitism or belittle concerns about it.” Later that day, Labour’s governing National Executive Committee voted to reinstate Corbyn, who has represented Labour in Parliament since 1983.

But Starmer said he was keeping Corbyn out of Labour’s parliamentary caucus. He said he was acting because “the (Labour Party) disciplinary process does not have the confidence of the Jewish community.”

Starmer was elected in April to lead the party. He has vowed to stamp out prejudice and restore relations between the party and the Jewish community.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)



3 COMMENTS

  1. Your headline doesn’t reflect the story, and makes no sense. How could Starmer possibly prevent Corbyn from being an MP? Corbyn was elected from his constituency, so until the next election he is an MP and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, let alone Starmer. Starmer probably would kick Corbyn out of the parliament if he could, but he doesn’t have that power. As we’ve just seen, he doesn’t even have the power to kick him out of the party. But he does have the power to exclude him from the Labour caucus, and that he is doing.

  2. I have been following the Twitter feeds of Starmer and his allies. It is very refreshing to see a Labour leader take a stand. But they have been getting horrible abuse. One MP, Margaret Hodge, received the following abuse: “I hope she dies soon. Dumb bitch. Member of a rich & powerful Jewish dynasty. Mossad agent. Liar. Rat. Old cunt. Snake. Nazi. Traitor. Zionist stooge. Evil personified. Cancer. Zionist hag. Pig. Infiltrator. Racist witch. Controlled & funded by Israel. Palestinian child murderer.” https://twitter.com/margarethodge/status/1329393903611629568

    Another Labour MP who is on the right side is Chris Bryant, from Wales, who participated in an unsuccessful attempt to dethrone Corbyn a few years ago. He just wrote a book about Gay MPs who tried to warn Neville Chamberlain about Hitler’s real nature and I look forward to reading it once it is available in the US.

    There are people on the right side here; may they be successful!