Labour ousts Corbyn after watchdog report
Britain’s Labour Party suspended former leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday over his response to a watchdog’s report on persistent anti-semitism in the center-left opposition party during his five-year reign.
Corbyn’s ouster from a party he led in the last two national elections, in 2019 and 2017, was a stunning rebuke.
Jewish leaders, including Labour lawmakers, have for years accused the party rank-and-file and grandees of using anti-semitic language on social media and in party meetings, including smears against Jews at large and antiIsrael and anti-zionist rhetoric often veering into outright antiSemitism.
Corbyn has also personally faced charges of anti-semitism. He hosted a 2010 panel at which Israelis were compared to Nazis, and in 2012 defended an artist’s freedom of speech but did not condemn the London mural that depicted Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on a board balanced on the bent backs of workers. On Thursday, Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission issued a damning report that concluded that Labour under Corbyn suffered from “serious failings” of leadership “in addressing antisemitism and an inadequate process for handling antisemitism complaints.”
The investigators found evidence of harassment targeting those making complaints and “political interference” to blunt the complaints.
Corbyn has played down the conclusions, suggesting that antiSemitism in Labour was no worse than in British society at large and was hyped by the media and critics. His rebuttal of the report was swiftly dealt with by party leaders, who suspended him from Labour pending an investigation.