London (QNN) – Former leader of UK’s main opposition party, Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended over his response to a damning report accusing Corbyn of antisemitism.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on Thursday said that the party, during Mr Corbyn’s years as its leader, had “serious failings” in dealing with anti-Semitism, and was responsible for “unlawful” harassment and discrimination.
The EHRC said the Labour Party was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act: political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, failure to provide proper training to handle the complaints, and harassment.
Corbyn responded to the report that while he condemned anti-Semites, the scale of the problem under his leadership had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”
Following Corbyn’s comments, a party spokesperson stated, “in light of [Corbyn’s] comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Corbyn replied to the shocking decision that he would “strongly contest” the decision to suspend him, calling it a “political intervention.”
“I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong,” Corbyn wrote on Twitter. “I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.”
I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me.
I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an antisemitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong.
I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 29, 2020
Regarding the EHRC report, Corbyn said in a statement that he worked to “speed up — not hinder” the investigation of complaints mentioned in the report.
“One anti-Semite 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,” Corbyn said in the statement. “That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated,” he continued.
The editor of LabourList, Sienna Rodgers, said that members of Labour’s national executive committee have challenged general secretary David Evans over his decision to suspend Corbyn at an ongoing meeting and are questioning his right to do so.
Legal action is being discussed, she reported, as is the possibility of the NEC overturning the decision.