U.K. Labour Readmits Corbyn After Suspension Over Antisemitism Response

Board of Deputies of British Jews decries 'retrograde step for the party in its relations with the community'

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Corbyn leaves his home in North London ahead of the release of an anti-Semitism report, October 29, 2020.
Corbyn leaves his home in North London ahead of the release of an anti-Semitism report, October 29, 2020.Credit: Aaron Chown,AP

Britain's former Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said he has been readmitted to the party after being suspended following his comments downplaying a report critical of Labour's handling of antisemitism complaints.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission said in October it had found evidence of failure to adequately train people investigating alleged antisemitism, political interference in the processing of complaints, and harassment of individuals.

Corbyn, 71, reacted to the report by saying the scale of Labour's antisemitism problem had been overstated by the media and his political opponents, and that his attempts to deal with the issue had been blocked by "obstructive party bureaucracy".

Current leader Keir Starmer has been trying to make a clean break from the hard-left Corbyn era as he seeks to turn around Labour's fortunes after four successive general election defeats since 2010.

"I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle antisemitism," Starmer wrote on Twitter.

"I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people."

Corbyn welcomed the decision by Labour's National Executive Committee to reinstate him after three weeks on Tuesday.

"Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government," he wrote on Twitter.

But the Board of Deputies of British Jews said in a statement: “Today’s decision is a retrograde step for the party in its relations with the Jewish community. Labour’s mountain to climb to win back the trust of our community just got higher.”

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