The United Kingdom’s main opposition Labour Party has re-admitted former leader Jeremy Corbyn after he was suspended for downplaying a report that detailed serious failings in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
Tuesday’s decision to reinstate Corbyn following his October suspension was made by a meeting of the Disputes Panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee, according to reports.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in October it had found evidence of failure to adequately train people investigating alleged anti-Semitism, political interference in the processing of complaints and harassment of individuals.
After the news of his re-admittance into the party broke, Corbyn took to Twitter to thank “party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity”.
“Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging conservative government,” he added.
I am pleased to have been reinstated in the Labour Party and would like to thank party members, trade unionists and all who have offered solidarity.
Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 17, 2020
The Jewish Labour Movement criticised Corbyn’s statement, alleging it was “insincere and wholly inadequate”.
Current Labour leader Keir Starmer, in a Twitter post, implied that Corbyn’s reinstatement was “another painful day” for the Jewish community.
“I know the hurt that has been caused and the trauma people felt,” said Starmer, who was elected party leader in April and is seeking to turn around Labour’s fortunes after four successive general election defeats since 2010.
“I know we have a long way to go, but I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people,” he added.
I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle antisemitism.
I know the hurt that has been caused and the trauma people have felt.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) November 17, 2020
The EHRC report found that the party was responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act during Corbyn’s term from 2015 till earlier this year.
Corbyn, who has represented the Labour Party in Parliament since 1983, had reacted to the report by saying the scale of Labour’s anti-Semitism problem had been overstated by the media and his political opponents, and that his attempts to deal with the issue had been blocked by “obstructive party bureaucracy”.
In the aftermath of the EHRC report, Labour officials have urged members to stand united against anti-Semitism, appealing against a renewal of a “civil war” within the party following Corbyn’s suspension last month.
Starmer, whose viewpoint is considered more centrist compared with left-wing Corbyn, has called the EHRC report a “day of shame” for Labour, as he promised to implement its recommendations in full.
However, he said last month he did not want “a split in the Labour Party” over his predecessor’s suspension.