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Friday, November 27, 2020

U.K. Labour Party Reinstates Jeremy Corbyn

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The United Kingdom’s Labour Party reinstated their former party leader Jeremy Corbyn on November 17 following his suspension on October 29.

The Jewish Chronicle reported that a panel of the National Executive Committee, the party’s governing body, voted in favor of reinstating Corbyn. According to LabourList, a pro-Labour website, Corbyn will receive a “reminder of conduct” as part of his reinstatement.

“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,” Corbyn tweeted. “Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.”

 

On October 29, the Equal Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a report stating that Labour had violated the law during Corbyn’s reign as party leader for inadequately addressing anti-Semitism in the party and, in some cases, engaging in political interference to quash anti-Semitism complaints in the party. Corbyn responded to the report by calling the issue of anti-Semitism in the party “dramatically overstated for political purposes,” prompting his suspension.

Jewish groups were furious at the decision to reinstate Corbyn. The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust said in a joint statement that the reinstatement of Corbyn is “a retrograde step for the Party in its relations with the Jewish community.” They added that the fact that Corbyn’s case was expedited while the party failed to address “hundreds” of pending cases involving allegations of anti-Semitism under Corbyn “adds insult to injury.”

 

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) similarly said in a statement that the NEC panel was “factionally aligned” with Corbyn and noted that the former Labour party leader has yet to show remorse for the party’s failure to address allegations of anti-Semitism during his tenure as party leader.

“He has offered no apology for his total failure of leadership to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, or contrition for his role in allowing political manipulation of the disciplinary process by his own office in his own name,” the JLM statement read. “His statement on the day of the [EHRC] report’s publication made no mention of this and was grossly offensive as it downplayed the reality of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Today will only embolden those that agreed with him.

“Once again we find ourselves having to remind the Labour Party that Jeremy Corbyn is not the victim of Labour anti-Semitism – Jewish members are.”

 

StandWithUs UK tweeted that Corbyn’s reinstatement is “inexplicable and deeply disturbing” and “will send shockwaves throughout all sections of the UK Jewish Community.” The pro-Israel education group added, “This backward step will inevitably sow seeds of doubt that Labour’s new leadership is serious about expunging the stain of antisemitism from their party.”

 

British researcher David Collier tweeted that Corbyn’s reinstatement “is a great victory for the antisemites and a heavy loss for every decent person in the UK.”

 

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer acknowledged that Corbyn’s reinstatement into Labour has caused pain in the Jewish community, but he “will not allow a focus on one individual to prevent us from doing the vital work of tackling antisemitism. When I stood as leader of the Labour Party, I was clear that my first priority would be to root out antisemitism. It still is.”

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