Labour expels just 12 people for anti-Semitism

Labour expels just 12 people for anti-Semitism after investigating claims made against almost 700 members

  • Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby released statistics to MPs tonight 
  • Figures show between April 2018 and January 2019 673 members investigated
  • Just 12 members were expelled for anti-Semitism by Labour’s ruling committee 
  • Jeremy Corbyn has been repeatedly accused of failing to act on racist abuse  
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Labour has expelled just 12 members for anti-Semitism after almost 700 accusations against party members it emerged tonight.

Party general secretary Jennie Formby released the figures to MPs tonight a week after infuriating them by saying racism was impossible to eradicate entirely.

Labour insisted the number of anti-Semites found equate to less than 0.1 per cent of members.

But the figures are likely to fuel claims amid some Labour MPs that leader Jeremy Corbyn has been too slow to react to the anti-Semitism crisis.

Party general secretary Jennie Formby (file) released the figures to MPs tonight a week after infuriating them by saying racism was impossible to eradicate entirely

The new figures relate only to the period April 2018 to January 2019 and Ms Formby admits the party did not record data before this.  

Of the group, 96 members were immediately suspended and 146 received a written warning 

Another 220 cases were dismissed because of a lack of evidence, and 211 were issued with a ‘Notice of Investigation’. 

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A total of 42 party members were referred to Labour’s quasi-judicial National Constitutional Committee, with five leaving before their case was heard.

Of the 18 NCC decisions which have been made so far, 12 members have been expelled, six were sanctioned and the rest are waiting a decision.

One Labour MP told PoliticsHome: ‘The stain of anti-semitism and bullying is alive and well in Corbyn’s party and as long as he continues to turn a blind eye to what is going on the worse it’s going to get.

‘He’s allowed the Labour party to become a culture of intolerance and bullying and he should be ashamed.’

But the figures are likely to fuel claims amid some Labour MPs that leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured on Friday in Coventry) has been too slow to react to the anti-Semitism crisis

In the email releasing the figures, Ms Formby said: ‘It is clearly of the utmost importance that everyone feels welcome in our party and we must ensure that includes all members of our Jewish communities.’ 

A Labour Party spokeswoman said: ‘Jennie Formby, after obtaining the NEC’s agreement, has published the figures on antisemitism complaints handled by the Party and published a report on the work the Party has done and is doing to speed up and strengthen our procedures, increasing transparency.

‘These figures relate to about 0.1 per cent of our membership, but one anti-Semite in our party is one too many.

‘We are committed to tackling antisemitism and rooting it out of our party once and for all.’

Timeline of anti-Semitic scandals which have erupted under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has been accused of failing to tackle the racism among his supporters 

The anti-Semitism scandal has dogged Labour since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader  in 2015.

Here is a timeline of the controversies: 

April 2016:

Labour MP Naz Shah is suspended for anti-Semitic posts – including one in which she appeared to endorse calls for Israelis to be deported to the US. 

She apologised and was given a formal warning.  

Ken Livingstone goes on the radio to defend Ms Shah – but sparks fresh controversy by claiming that Hitler supported Zionism. 

He is suspended by Labour but refuses to apologise and has repeated the claim many times.

He eventually quits Labour two years later, saying his suspension has become a distraction.

June 2016: 

A two-month inquiry by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti finds that Labour is not overrun by anti-Semitism. 

But the launch is overshadowed when Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth flees it in tears after being accused by Corbyn supporter Marc Wadsworth of colluding with the press.

Critics accuse the report of being a whitewash and Ms Chakrabarti is widely criticised for accepting a peerage from Jeremy Corbyn shortly afterwards.

October 2016: 

The Home Affairs Select Committee says Labour is guilty of incompetence over its handling of anti-Semitism and of creating a safe space for people with ‘vile attitudes towards Jewish people’.

March 2018: 

It is revealed that Jeremy Corbyn defended an artist who painted an anti-Semitic mural and said the offensive art should be removed.

He apologises saying he did not properly look at the picture before he made the post.

Jewish leaders take the unprecedented step of holding a demonstration outside Parliament protesting Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

Several Labour MPs address the crowds.

April 2018:

Marc Wadsworth is expelled from Labour after being accused of anti-Semitism. 

Meanwhile, Labour Jewish MPs tell of the anti-Semitic abuse they have suffered in a powerful parliamentary debate – and round on their leader for failing to tackle it. 

July 2018:

The Labour leadership sparks fresh anger by failing to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism

Peter Willsman, a strong ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is secretly taped ranting that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’ invented the anti-Semitism storm engulfing Labour. 

In an angry diatribe at a meeting of Labour’s ruling executive committee, he said he was ‘amazed’ there was evidence party members hated Jews.

He claimed ‘some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump – they are Trump fanatics’ before shouting: ‘So I am not going to be lectured to by Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all.’

August 2018:

Jeremy Corbyn issues a video insisting he is committed to tackling the racism – but it is panned by Jewish leaders.

Corbynistas mount a social media campaign to get deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to quit after he criticises the party’s handling of anti-Semitism. 

The Daily Mail exclusively publishes photos of Jeremy Corbyn holding a wreath at a ceremony where a terrorist linked to the Munich massacre was honoured.

The Labour leader insists he was there to honour others killed – but faces fresh calls to quit over the scandal. 

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