Starmer Apologises For Labour Anti-Semitism As Equalities Watchdog Ends Scrutiny Of Party

The EHRC demanded reforms be made after it found the party guilty of unlawful acts of harassment.
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Keir Starmer has apologised to the Jewish community and insisted Labour has “changed” after the equalities watchdog announced it was no longer monitoring the party.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had been scrutinising Labour for over two years.

In October 2020 it found the party guilty of unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination over anti-Semitism during Jeremy Corbyn’s time as leader.

The fallout from the report ultimately saw Corbyn lose the party whip after he said cases of anti-Semitism had been “overstated” by his political opponents.

Corbyn’s allies have since demanded the whip be returned so he can stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election, but that seems unlikely to happen.

Starmer accepted the findings in full and pledged to implement changes to its complaints and training procedures.

On Wednesday the EHRC said it was satisfied with the reforms that had now been made.

Starmer said the conclusions meant he could say “firmly, proudly, confidently: the Labour Party has changed”.

“To all those who were hurt, who were let down, who were driven out of our party, who no longer felt it was their home, who suffered the most appalling abuse,” he said.

“Today, on behalf of the entire Labour Party, I say sorry. What you have been through can never be undone. Apologies alone cannot make it right.”

Starmer added: “I don’t see today’s announcement as the end of the road. I see it as a signpost that we are heading in the right direction.”

EHRC chief executive Marcial Boo said: “On January 31, we concluded our monitoring as we were satisfied that the party had implemented the necessary actions to improve its complaints, recruitment, training and other procedures to the legal standards required.

“This will help to protect current and future Labour Party members from discrimination and harassment.

“We are pleased that our investigation and action plan has had the desired impact in this case.”

Among the watchdog’s demands were for Labour to commit to zero-tolerance of anti-Semitism and to set up an independent complaints handling process.

Consultation over the reforms had to include the Jewish community, social media guidelines had to be tightened and due diligence checks had to be strengthened on candidates


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