EHRC's into Labour antisemitism 'on-going' despite coronavirus outbreak

Equality watchdog is tight-lipped about progress amid fears its findings could go largely unnoticed amid pandemic


The investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission into alleged institutional antisemitism within Labour remains "on-going" despite the coronavirus outbreak bringing the country to a standstill.

An EHRC spokesperson refused to comment on suggestions that publication of the completed report could now be delayed, saying a "timeline" for the equality watchdog to complete the probe had never been confirmed.

Senior Labour figures had told the JC that they had until recently expected the charity's report to be published in May, after the London Mayoral elections.

But with Britain thrown into crisis as a result of coronavirus, one senior Jewish Labour figure told the JC they hoped the EHRC would now delay publishing their findings or else risk the recommendations of the landmark report going unnoticed.

Others said the equalities watchdog had no option but to proceed along already planned lines.

The EHRC has received a submission from the Jewish Labour Movement outlining claims the party is "institutionally antisemitic".

The JLM's submission, prepared with law firm Mishcon de Reya,  included 70 testimonies from current and former staffers, and concludes that “the Labour party is no longer a safe space for Jewish people”.

It alleges political interference in the disciplinary process by Jeremy Corbyn’s office, despite Labour’s insistence that the leadership has not got involved.

A separate submission from the Labour Against Antisemitism organisation is said to include thousands of social media posts which they alleged show the frequency and the extreme of antisemitism by party members.

Labour's case to the EHRC will be that no allegations amount to unlawful acts by the party and there is therefore no basis for the claim that there could be a finding of institutional racism.

The EHRC told the JC they were unable to comment more on the investigation saying it was both live and on-going.

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