Oct. 29 (UPI) — Former Labor leader and British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn was suspended from his party Thursday after a human rights report outlined deficiencies in how the party handled anti-Semitism during his leadership.
The report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found the party broke British law in how it responded to complaints of anti-Semitism during Corbyn’s tenure as leader from 2015 until earlier this year.
Corbyn, a member of British Parliament since 1983, complained about the report and appeared to the minimize the issues it raised. He also said those issues were “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents.”
The Labor Party subsequently announced Corbyn’s suspension.
“In light of his comments … and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labor Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation,” a spokesman said. “He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labor Party.”
Labor Party Leader Keir Starmer, who replaced Corbyn in April, supported the EHRC report and promised the party will take it seriously.
“We have made progress. It will intensify today,” Starmer said. “But I will only consider it a success when those members who left our party because of anti-Semitism feel safe to return — and when we no longer hear the words ‘Labor’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ in the same sentence.”
Others applauded the party’s decision to suspend Corbyn.
“The Labor Party made a commitment to zero tolerance for anti-Semitism,” Caroline Waters, interim chair of the EHRC, said in a statement.
“Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling anti-Semitism was insufficient. 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.”