Barking MP welcomes Labour’s decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism report remarks

PUBLISHED: 14:08 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 29 October 2020

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: James Brady/PA.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: James Brady/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The MP for Barking has welcomed former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn being suspended from the party following remarks made over a report into antisemitism.

Dame Margaret Hodge welcomed the decision. Picture: Melissa PageDame Margaret Hodge welcomed the decision. Picture: Melissa Page

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party after the human rights watchdog found it broke equality law in its handling of antisemitism.

Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said in response: “This is the right decision following Corbyn’s shameful reaction to the EHRC report.

“Labour is finally saying enough is enough, antisemitism can never be tolerated in our party. Now we can finally move on.”

The report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

Sir Keir Starmer has said a second referendum would be better than the current Brexit deal
Photo: PASir Keir Starmer has said a second referendum would be better than the current Brexit deal Photo: PA

Mr Corbyn rejected some of the report’s findings and claimed the issue had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by his critics.

His comments prompted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to take action against his predecessor.

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Sir Keir told reporters: “If - after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report - there are still those who think there’s no problem with anti-semitism in the Labour Party, that it’s all exaggerated, or a factional attack, then, frankly, you are part of the problem too.

“And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.”

Sir Keir said the findings of the EHRC investigation marked a “day of shame” for Labour and he was “truly sorry” for the pain caused.

Mr Corbyn denied he was “part of the problem” and told broadcasters he would not quit Labour: “Of course not. I am proud to be a member of the Labour Party. I joined the Labour party when I was 16. I’ve fought racism all my life and I’ll fight racism for the rest of my life.”

A Labour Party spokesman 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.”

Board of Deputies of British Jews president, Marie van der Zyl, welcomed Mr Corbyn’s suspension.

She said: “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 he remains part of the problem and is an obstruction to the resolution of the issue.”

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