LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s former main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said he has been readmitted to the Labour Party after being suspended following his comments downplaying a report critical of its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission said in October it had found evidence of failure adequately to train people investigating alleged anti-Semitism, political interference in the processing of complaints, and harassment of individuals.
Corbyn, 71, reacted to the report by saying the scale of Labour’s anti-Semitism problem had been overstated by the media and his political opponents, and that his attempts to deal with the issue had been blocked by “obstructive party bureaucracy”.
Current leader Keir Starmer has been trying to make a clean break from the hard-left Corbyn era as he seeks to turn around Labour’s fortunes after four successive general election defeats since 2010.
“I know that this has been another painful day for the Jewish community and those Labour members who have fought so hard to tackle antisemitism,” Starmer wrote on Twitter.
“I am absolutely resolute in my determination to make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people.”
Corbyn welcomed the decision by Labour’s National Executive Committee to reinstate him after three weeks and said the focus should now be on challenging Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration.
“Our movement must now come together to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government,” he said.
But the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust were critical of Corbyn’s readmission in a joint statement.
“Labour’s mountain to climb to win back the trust of our community just got higher,” they said.