Khan backs “swift and strong response” to antisemitism report


Sadiq Khan has backed Sir Keir Starmer’s “swift and strong response” to a damning report by the equalities watchdog on antisemitism in Labour.

Mr Starmer has suspended Jeremy Corbyn from the party, after the Equality and Human Rights Commission said Labour unlawfully discriminated against Jewish people.

The previous Labour leadership interfered in antisemitism complaints within the party, which was indirect discrimination, it said.

The commission – set up by the last Labour government in 2007 – began investigating the party in May last year, after a number of formal complaints.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was one of two Labour “agents” named in the 130-page report for unlawful harassment.

Mr Livingstone used “antisemitic tropes” and claimed complaints of antisemitism were “fakes or smears,” the report said.

This contributed to a “hostile” environment for Jewish members, it concluded.

Responding to the report, the former Mayor said he was “deeply hurt” and “fully rejects” the accusations, having “always implacably opposed antisemitism”.

But Mr Starmer said antisemites and those trying to diminish the scale of the problem should be “nowhere near” the Labour Party.

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He later suspended Mr Corbyn and withdrew the Labour whip from him in the House of Commons.

It came after the former Labour leader released a statement condemning antisemitism in the party, but claiming the issue was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.

Mr Corbyn has said he will “strongly contest” his suspension, which he deemed a “political intervention”.

But the current London Mayor has now backed Mr Starmer’s response on a “dark day” for Labour, and pledged to help “stamp out antisemitism” in his party’s ranks.

“It’s utterly shameful that, rather than being an ally and defending the Jewish community, the Labour Party not only failed to address anti-Semitism within the party, but oversaw unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination,” Mr Khan said.

“I’ve been a member of the Labour Party since I was 15 years old. A big part of why I first joined was because I saw Labour as the best vehicle to break down barriers of discrimination and to stop the racism I witnessed, and often experienced myself, growing up.

“As I’ve said time and time again in recent years, we must make the Labour Party a hostile environment for anti-Semites, rather than one where they can thrive.”

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