Labour leader Keir Starmer accepts EHRC report and tells anti-Semites: You shouldn't be near this party

Daniel O'Mahony
·2-min read
Sky News
Sky News

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to rid the Labour party of anti-Semitism following a damning report from the equalities watchdog that found "unlawful" failings by the party's former leadership in tackling the issue.

In a statement, Sir Keir pledged to clean up the party and would implement the EHRC recommendations “without qualification”.

He said: “The Labour Party I lead accepts this report in full. And without qualification. We will implement all the recommendations. And we will implement them in full. That process starts today.

“Under my leadership, zero-tolerance of anti-Semitism will mean precisely that. If you’re anti-semitic, you should be nowhere near this Party. And we’ll make sure you’re not.

“And if – after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report, there are still those who think there’s no problem with anti-semitism in the Labour Party. That it’s all exaggerated, or a factional attack. Then, frankly, you are part of the problem too. And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.”

The report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission concluded that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn was responsible for “unlawful acts of discrimination and harassment”.

It found three breaches of the Equality Act (2010) by the party, relating to political interference in anti-Semitism complaints; failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-sSemitism complaints and the harassment of people.

The party has now been served with an unlawful act notice requiring it to tackle the failings.

Minutes before Sir Keir made his statement, Mr Corbyn said he did not accept all of the report's findings, although expected the recommendations to "be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period".

He said: “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.

“One anti-Semite 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."

Read more

Labour 'committed unlawful acts of harassment, discrimination'- EHRC