Corbyn suspended by the Labour Party over his response to the EHRC report

Former leader has also had the whip removed, the party said in a statement


HULL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn steps off a train from Leeds as he tours the North of England by rail today on September 3, 2018 in Hull, England. Labour under Mr Corbyn are proposing a 'Crossrail for the North' linking the North East and North West of England with a new rail line. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended by the Labour Party over his response to the EHRC report in antisemitism.

In a statement the party confirmed: “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.”

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Corbyn wrote that antisemitism within the party was “dramatically overstated” by his opponents and the media, a combination he said “hurt Jewish people”.

Veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman immediately said Mr Corbyn’s suspension was “the right thing to do.”

She added: "If you say antisemitism is exaggerated for factional reasons you minimise it and as Keir Starmer says, part of the problem.”

Sir Keir had earlier said: “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 antisemitism 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.”

Labour’s decision to suspend the former leader means Mr Corbyn will still be able to speak in the House of Commons.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Jewish Labour Movement on Wednesday, Dame Margaret Hodge was asked about the former Labour leader’s response to today’s EHRC report in which he said that the scale of the antisemitism problem had been dramatically overstated.

“Even when the evidence is placed in front of him he fails really to understand the importance and severity of it. It happened on his watch. He shamed the party. He sat at the centre of a party that enabled antisemitism to spread from the fringes to the mainstream.”

Mr Corbyn had denied he was “part of the problem” and told broadcasters he would not quit Labour.

He said: “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.”

Speaking on Sky News, ex MP Luciana Berger said she thought it was "the right decision that Jeremy Corbyn had been suspended today."

In a tweet Mr Corbyn said he would “strongly contest” the decision to suspend him.

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