BREAKING NEWS: Starmer has refused to allow Corbyn to rejoin the Parliamentary Labour Party and by doing so has invented his own rule book and totally ignored the recommendations of the independent report on party’s handling of racial discrimination complaints.
An NEC sub-committee of six members, three allegedly on the left, two on the right and one who does not know their aris from their elbow, unanimously (allegedly) gave Jeremy Corbyn the all clear and his suspension has been lifted.
But it still remains to be seen if leader Sir ‘Keith’ Starmer can swallow the decision and allow the pain in his neck back into the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Hours after the party decision, and Starmer’s grudging acknowledgement of it, Corbyn still has not been told he is once again a Labour MP.
The Jewish Voice for Labour [not to be confused with the pro-Israel Jewish Labour Movement] has welcomed the news that Jeremy Corbyn’ suspension has been lifted by the NEC three weeks after it was unjustifiably imposed by the General Secretary David Evans.
Reinstate members who supported Jeremy Corbyn
In a statement it said: “We strongly urge the Party to apologise to Jeremy Corbyn for the highhanded and public nature of his suspension and the consequent distress he has inevitably suffered as a result of media intrusion and the ongoing attacks that have continued following his reinstatement.
We reiterate the call we made earlier for the party to lift the suspensions and investigations into all those who have supported Jeremy and expressed solidarity with him.
This would demonstrate that the NEC decision will pave the way to the development of the party unity to which Keir Starmer insists he is committed – and on which platform he was elected by the membership. The people of this country and the world desperately need this to provide a coherent and united opposition to Boris Johnson’s callous and inept government.
An earlier JVL statement said: “We believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s statement on the EHRC report (below) said nothing that should have led to his suspension.
One antisemite 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. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome.Jeremy Corbyn
We deplore what has clearly been intolerable pressure put upon him to step back from this. He has the right to defend his own record and those of the members who support him, however much the incumbent leadership might disagree. They have cynically exploited Jeremy’s loyalty to the party he has served for 50+ years; and which, as leader in difficult times, he made huge efforts to hold together.
It is undoubtedly true that many of Corbyn’s opponents, both inside and outside the party have exaggerated the numbers of cases of antisemitism. Jeremy has never said, as has been alleged, that the hurt any Jewish individuals have felt has been exaggerated.
Such a misinterpretation is just the latest in a long line of distortions that have been used to attack him and those whose political ideals he articulated.
The EHRC report did not comment on the numbers of antisemitic incidents, so questioning their prevalence and the reporting of them was not, in any way, in contradiction to the report. Indeed, one of the peculiarities of the report is that it makes sweeping assertions about the scale of the problem facing the party without making any effort to estimate that scale.
JVL members are angry that many Jews have been frightened by allegations of Labour antisemitism while very few Jews have actually experienced any antisemitism themselves.
Those who have deserve everyone’s fullest support and the aggressors should be sanctioned. Beyond those few; many more have been made anxious by misrepresentations and distortions and unfounded claims that a Corbyn-led government would be hostile to British Jews. His clear record of standing up for his Jewish constituents has been ignored.
The responsibility for this unnecessary pain is with those who have lied about Corbyn’s alleged personal antisemitism and about the culture inside the party. The EHRC report, shamefully, did nothing to reduce that anxiety. JVL and others have published repeated and detailed rebuttals of the most frequently repeated false allegations: these rebuttals have been assiduously ignored by those who felt they had something to gain by promoting the allegations and overlooked by the EHRC.
This whole saga has revealed a distressing hostility to a culture of free debate within the party by the current Leader and General Secretary. The issues raised by concerns about antisemitism and its handling are of fundamental importance.
They are not settled by the flawed EHRC report or by leadership dictats. Progress is made through free discussion and learning. This is why a repeated mantra of ‘accept the report and its findings in full’ is dangerous and counterproductive as it would be for any single report on a complex and emotive subject.
We call on the party to reinstate immediately those members suspended for trying to debate these issues and to challenge the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn. It has been an abuse of power for the leadership to put the circumstances of Corbyn’s suspension into the public domain where it can be debated in every location except where it is most pertinent – in Labour Party meetings.
We have previously commented on the claim that there is a singular ‘Jewish community’ that has to be accommodated, a claim that is used to give illicit moral force to partisan political stances. This claim is used to limit Jewish voices to those which support the views of bodies such as the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council or the Jewish Labour Movement. Each of these bodies has a constituency but there are many others. Like all communities, Britain’s Jews have diverse and often deeply conflicting views. Jews are Zionist and anti-Zionist; religious and secular; left-wing and right-wing; kosher and eaters of pork and shellfish. The Labour Party, like all other bodies, should engage with communities within and outside its own borders but such consultation must include as many elements of the diverse communities as possible, not just the convenient ones.
Our demand is that the party leadership lift the suspension of Jeremy and all those who have supported him – but this must never be at the price of suppressing debate. Argument and disagreement can be untidy and sometimes uncomfortable but it is the essential proof of a healthy, vibrant, thinking party.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us