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UK Labour suspends ex-leader Corbyn after anti-Semitism failings exposed

Britain's opposition Labour party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday for seeking to deflect blame away from himself after a report found that under his leadership the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination. Corbyn's successor, Keir Starmer, apologised and said Labour was facing a "day of shame" after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found serious failings in how the party had dealt with allegations of anti-Semitism within its ranks.

Reuters | Updated: 29-10-2020 19:07 IST | Created: 29-10-2020 19:07 IST
UK Labour suspends ex-leader Corbyn after anti-Semitism failings exposed

Britain's opposition Labour party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday for seeking to deflect blame away from himself after a report found that under his leadership the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination.

Corbyn's successor, Keir Starmer, apologised and said Labour was facing a "day of shame" after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found serious failings in how the party had dealt with allegations of anti-Semitism within its ranks. Corbyn's tenure was marred by persistent complaints of anti-Semitism in the party and criticism of the leader's response.

He was suspended after saying he did not accept all the report's findings, that his attempts at reforming complaints processes had been stalled by "obstructive party bureaucracy" and that the scale of the problem had been overstated for political reasons. "In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation," Labour said in a statement.

The party added it had removed the Labour whip from Corbyn, meaning that the former leader will no longer be able to take part in House of Commons votes as a Labour lawmaker. Starmer said he accepted the EHRC's report "in full" and would implement all its recommendations.

"It is a day of shame for the Labour Party. We have failed Jewish people... I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused," said Starmer, who held a senior role under Corbyn's leadership but has tried to stamp out the problem since taking over. "Never again will we fail to tackle anti-Semitism and never again will we lose your trust."


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