Jeremy Corbyn suspended from Labour Party in anti-Semitism report fallout

The party was responsible for harassment and discrimination under his leadership, the inquiry found

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home on October 29, 2020 in London, England. The long-awaited report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which was initiated in 2019 after Jewish groups alleged the party was institutionally antisemitic in its handling of complaints under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, is due to be published today. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
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Former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the party in the wake of a report that found serious failings in dealing with anti-Semitism during his tenure.

Mr Corbyn said the number of complaints during his four-and-a-half years as leader was “dramatically overstated” and insisted: “I’m not part of the problem.”

A statement by the Labour Party said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party."

Mr Corbyn criticised the move.

"I will strongly contest the political intervention to suspend me," he said.

"I’ve made absolutely clear those who deny there has been an anti-Semitism problem in the Labour Party are wrong. I will continue to support a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of racism."

Mr Corbyn earlier said anti-Semitism was “absolutely abhorrent, wrong and responsible for some of humanity’s greatest crimes”.

“As Leader of the Labour Party I was always determined to eliminate all forms of racism and root out the cancer of anti-Semitism,” he said.

He said he did not accept all the report’s findings and that the scale of the problem had been overstated for political reasons.

The inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” under his leadership and that his office had interfered in the complaints procedure.

Mr Corbyn's tenure was marred by persistent complaints of anti-Semitism within the party and criticism of the leader's response.

Current Labour leader Keir Starmer said he accepted the report in full and would implement all of its recommendations.

"It is a day of shame for the Labour Party. We have failed Jewish people... I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused," he said.

"Never again will we fail to tackle anti-Semitism and never again will we lose your trust."

The EHRC said that under Mr Corbyn, Labour was guilty of three breaches of Britain's 2010 Equality Act for political interference in complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism cases and harassment of complainants.

It did not launched legal proceedings and instead ordered Labour to draft an action plan by December 10 to remedy its failures.

"Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where (Labour's) approach and leadership to tackling anti-Semitism was insufficient," EHRC's interim chairwoman, Caroline Waters, said in presenting the 129-page report.

"This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle anti-Semitism rather than an inability to do so."

The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed Mr Corbyn's suspension.

"Having presided over the descent of a proudly anti-racist party into a party that broke equalities law in its treatment of Jews, his shameless comments today showed that he remains part of the problem and is an obstruction to the resolution of the issue," President Marie van der Zyl said.