Jeremy Corbyn: Suspended ex-Labour leader seeks to clarify antisemitism claim

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Jeremy Corbyn has sought to clarify his previous claim that antisemitism allegations against Labour were "dramatically overstated".

The former Labour leader was last month suspended from the party over his reaction to a damning report into how antisemitism complaints were handled under his leadership.

Many of his allies both within and outside Labour have called for him to be reinstated and a Labour disputes panel is set to consider Mr Corbyn's case.

A source close to Mr Corbyn said Labour officials would meet to discuss his case on Tuesday afternoon.

But the Labour Party provided no timeframe over the disciplinary process, with a spokesperson saying they "don't provide a running commentary on individual cases".

At the time of the publication of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission report, Mr Corbyn claimed that "the scale of the problem" of Labour antisemitism allegations were "dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media".

He also said he did not accept all of the EHRC report's findings.

However, Mr Corbyn has now made public a new statement he said had been provided to the party as a means to "clear up any confusion about what I had meant".

In the statement, which he posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn said: "I regret the pain this issue has caused the Jewish community and would wish to do nothing that would exacerbate or prolong it.

"To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither 'exaggerated' nor 'overstated'.

"The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour Party members were and remain committed anti-racists deeply opposed to antisemitism.

"I fully support Keir Starmer's decision to accept all the EHRC recommendations in full and, in accordance with my own lifelong convictions, will do what I can to help the party move on, united against antisemitism which has been responsible for so many of history's greatest crimes against humanity."

Mr Corbyn also thanked those who have offered him their support following his suspension from the party, adding: "I hope this matter is resolved as quickly as possible."

However, his clarifying statement did not offer an apology for, or retraction of, his remarks on the day of the EHRC report's publication.

The Islington North MP, who now sits as an independent politician in the House of Commons, has previously vowed to "strongly contest the political intervention" to suspend him from Labour.