Three Jewish peers who resigned from Labour over the antisemitism crisis under Jeremy Corbyn have announced they are rejoining the party in response to Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership on the issue.
Lord David Triesman, the ex-chairman of the Football Association, quit the party in July 2019, along with Lord Leslie Turnberg, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians.
Businessman Lord Parry Mitchell left the party in September 2016 stressing that as “a Jew and a Zionist” he could not stay under Mr Corbyn’s tenure.
But in a decision that will come as a welcome boost to Sir Keir – ahead of his latest online meeting with communal leaders on Friday – all three peers announced that they have now rejoined the party.
Lord Triesman, a former General Secretary under Tony Blair, told the JC and The Times: “The Labour Party has in the past said it was dealing with antisemitism but did almost nothing.
“It was vital to see strong, practical action and with Keir we have seen just that. It’s the moment when being Jewish and Labour have been truly reconciled by active leadership.”
“It is with considerable relief that I have rejoined the party. ‘’
Confirming he had rejoined, Lord Turnberg said: “Under the previous leader, I was placed in an impossible position when it lurched so far to the left and seemed riddled with antisemitism that it became unrecognisable as Labour.
“Under Keir’s leadership it is now the party I joined many years ago with all the values I have always held so dear. I can now be proud again of being part of a great movement.”
Lord Mitchell said: “Four years ago, I took the heart-wrenching decision to leave the Labour Party because of the creeping antisemitism amongst senior leaders.
“As a Jew I felt that the party had become a very cold and unwelcoming house: I simply could not stay.
“The recent leadership changed my mind. Keir has lost no time in rebuilding trust with the Jewish community and positioning Labour as a credible alternative to this awful Conservative government. I am thrilled to be back home.”
Responding to the news, the Labour Leader Sir Keir said: “I’m honoured to welcome back these three former colleagues into the Labour Party.
“I remain utterly committed to rooting antisemitism out of the Labour Party and restoring trust with the Jewish community.”
While Baroness Angela Smith of Basildon, Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, added: “I’m absolutely delighted to have these highly regarded colleagues and friends back in Labour’s team in the Lords.
‘’Their values never changed and this is an important moment that shows the party is emerging from a particularly sorry period in our history.”
Last July Lord Triesman, who was made a life peer in 2004, had previously been targeted by neo-Nazi thugs in a series of violent attacks, had suggested Labour under Mr Corbyn was “plainly institutionally antisemitic”.
In 2016 Lord Mitchell, who was awarded a life peeerage in 2000, had branded Baroness Chakrabarti’s investigation into anti-Jewish racism in Labour a ‘’whitewash’’ before quitting in protest at Mr Corbyn’s re-election as leader.
On Friday after meeting with Sir Keir, communal leaders claimed moves to resolve Labour's antisemtism crisis were ''moving in the right direction'' although there was ''still a long way to go due to the scale of the mess'' the new leader had inherited.