EHRC inquiry into Labour antisemitism would take 'up to two years', Louise Ellman warns

MP says party must not 'just admit its problem with antisemitism but actually deal with it'


Labour cannot wait for an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry to address its antisemitism crisis because it could take up "up to two years", Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman has said.

The Liverpool Riverside MP – who has regularly faced problems with antisemitic bullying from local members – referred to the JC’s report that three Labour candidates are now suspended over antisemitism allegations in just one local council authority to emphasise the scale of the problem.

"It is high time that the Labour Party not just admitted its problem with antisemitism, but actually dealt with it," she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday.

“There is a major problem of antisemitism... and I do understand that many long-standing Labour Party members are so shocked about this, they find it very hard to accept.

“But the evidence is there and the Equality and Human Rights Commission are now considering a judicial investigation into the Labour Party to look at institutional antisemitism. What a stain on the Labour Party that we are at that situation.

“I have confidence in the commission, but the commission itself, if it goes ahead with its inquiry, could take up to two years, so we need action to root out antisemitism now."

Referring to a report in the Sunday Times about how Mr Corbyn admitted Labour had 'mislaid or ignored' evidence of Jew-hate, Dame Louise said: “It is clear that the leader of the Labour Party, having failed to deal with antisemitism within the party, now admits he knew about some of the problems.”

Referring to the JC’s report on the problem in Torbay Labour Party in Devon, she said: “We are now in the situation there are actually three Labour candidates in one local authority election who are actually being suspended because of antisemitism.

"One talking about the Rothschilds’ financing of the Nazis, the other talking about the new world order of Zionist Jews. What has the Labour Party come to?”

She added: “It is an undisputed fact that since Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the Labour Party, antisemitism within the Labour Party has developed and it is rife and it has not been dealt with yet. The only time where it is dealt with properly is when there is public exposure.”

Ruling out any “realistic proposition” that Mr Corbyn could be “successfully challenged” Dame Louise said it was crucial to carry on exposing antisemitism within the Party.

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