Labour antisemitism report: Key reactions after ruling finds party broke law under Corbyn

Kate Ng
·3-min read
The Labour Party has been found to have broken the law by failing to prevent antisemitism during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (PA)
The Labour Party has been found to have broken the law by failing to prevent antisemitism during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (PA)

Labour has been condemned for failing to prevent and stamp out antisemitism within the party after a damning report was released on Thursday.

The report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission ruled that the party broke the law by failing to prevent “acts of harassment and discrimination” and said Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership “did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it”.

These are the key reactions to the findings of the report:

Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the Labour Party

Mr Corbyn described antisemitism as “absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes” and defended his time as leader of the Labour Party by saying he campaigned in support of Jewish people and communities.

He said that to claim there was no antisemitism within the party is “wrong”, but added that the issue was made larger “for political reasons”.

“Jewish members of our party and the wider community were right to expect us to deal with it, and I regret that it took longer to deliver that change than it should,” he said in a statement on Facebook.

“One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated.

“My sincere hope is that relations with the Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome. While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.”

Lord John Mann, Independent Adviser to the UK Government on antisemitism

“The moment of greatest shame in the history of the Labour Party. And to think how many said it was all made up and exaggerated. Which amongst them will stand up and say that I am truly sorry?

Dame Margaret Hodge, Labour MP

“This is a truly appalling day for the Labour Party. Under Corbyn’s leadership, Labour committed unlawful acts of harassment and political interference.

“This should never have been allowed to happen and this report must act as a watershed moment.”

Andrew Adonis, Labour peer

“Jeremy Corbyn should properly resign from Parliament after this report.”

Campaign Against Anti-Semitism

“The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report is a groundbreaking document. It is the first ever finding by the EHRC of unlawful acts. It heavily criticises the Labour Party’s former leadership.

“It makes clear recommendations to ensure that there is zero tolerance of antisemitism in the party in the future. It provides a robust framework for ensuring that the party complies.

“The EHRC’s report utterly vindicates Britain’s Jews, who were accused of lying and exaggerating, acting as agents of another country and using their religion to ‘smear’ the Labour Party.

“In an unprecedented finding, it concludes that those who made such accusations broke the law and were responsible for illegal discrimination and harassment.”

Jewish Labour Movement

“Today’s report provides Jewish Labour members with the relief that they have been seeking from the Labour Party, but which it failed, over five years, to offer.

“Since 2015, we have consistency warned the Labour party about a deepening casual culture of anti-Jewish racism, that saw Jewish Labour members and activists harassed and discriminated against.

“Instead of listening to our growing concerns over the scale of the challenge, we were told that this racism was imagined, fabricated for factional advantage or intended to silence debate.

“Today’s report confirms that our voices were marginalised and our members victimised.

“As set out in forensic detail by the EHRC, the blame for this sordid, disgraceful chapter in the Labour Party’s history lies firmly with those who held positions of leadership - those who possessed both power and influence to prevent the growth of anti-Jewish racism, but failed to act.”

Read more

Corbyn rejects ruling that he failed to to act to stop antisemitism

Labour broke law in ‘inexcusable’ failure to prevent ‘discrimination’

Labour broke law by ‘failing to prevent antisemitism’, report finds

Hate is hate. Our outrage against antisemitism should be no different