Ex-MP back in Labour fold after quitting over anti-Semitism

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Louise Ellman (File/PA) (PA Media)
Louise Ellman (File/PA) (PA Media)

A former MP who quit Labour because of anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has rejoined the party, saying under Sir Keir Starmer it is now being led by someone in which “Jews can have trust”.

Dame Louise Ellman announced she had returned to her “political home” on Monday after members at Labour’s conference in Brighton backed tough new rule changes, but she warned there is a “great deal more to do”.

The veteran politician quit Labour in October 2019 after more than half a century of membership as she warned about the “growth of anti-Semitism” under Mr Corbyn, who she said was a danger to Britain.

Sir Keir, who became leader after the crushing defeat in the last general election, said he was “heartened” by Dame Louise’s decision to rejoin the party and welcomed it as a “poignant moment”.

In a statement, the former Liverpool Riverside MP said: “I am confident that, under the leadership of Keir Starmer, the party is once again led by a man of principle in whom the British people and Britain’s Jews can have trust.

“Whilst there remains a great deal more to do to tackle anti-Semitism in the party, I am encouraged by the steps already taken and the progress made so far.

“Keir has shown a willingness to confront both the anti-Jewish racists and the toxic culture which allowed anti-Semitism to flourish.

“In beginning the process of stamping out the poison of anti-Semitism, he has demonstrated leadership and, crucially, action.

“He has my full support.”

She said the rule changes to implement a fully independent complaints process are an “important step” to tackling anti-Semitism.

Sir Keir said: “Louise Ellman re-joining our party is a poignant moment.

“Her courage and dignity in standing up against appalling abuse is testament to her Labour values.

“I am heartened to know that her faith in our party has been restored enough for her to return to her political home.

The Labour Party is now relentlessly focused on showing that our credible and ambitious policy programme can change people’s lives.

“I look forward to Louise’s contributions.”

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