LONDON — The Labour Party announced Thursday it had suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn pending an investigation.
The former Labour leader had earlier responded to a report by the U.K.’s Equality and Human Rights Commission which found that the party was “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” in its handling of complaints of anti-Semitism within its ranks under Corbyn’s leadership.
“In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation,” a spokesperson said. “He has also had the whip removed [been suspended] from the parliamentary Labour Party.”
Corbyn — who remains a talismanic figure for many on Labour’s left wing — responded to the findings shortly after their publication saying that, while he regretted that it “took longer” to tackle the issue than it should have done, and that “one anti-Semite is one too many,” the “scale of the problem” had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”
At a press conference, his successor Keir Starmer, who described it as a “day of shame” for the party, declined to directly criticize his former leader, saying the report’s findings showed a “collective failure of leadership.” However, he added that those who claimed accusations of anti-Semitism were “exaggerated or a factional attack” were “part of the problem” and should be “nowhere near the Labour party.”