Labour reinstates Jeremy Corbyn after suspension over antisemitism remarks

Jeremy Corbyn has been reinstated to the Labour party after a 19-day suspension, a move that could smooth Keir Starmer’s efforts towards party unity but is likely to provoke a backlash from Jewish groups.

A panel from the party’s governing body is understood to have agreed to lift Corbyn’s suspension, though the former Labour leader is yet to receive any formal notification or conditions attached.

Corbyn issued a statement on Tuesday saying he regretted any hurt caused by a statement he made in the wake of a report by the equalities watchdog into antisemitism, which led to his suspension.

It is understood the statement was also submitted to the party as part of the investigation process shortly after his suspension.


Labour and antisemitism


Jeremy Corbyn is elected as Labour leader, and party membership soars to over half a million.

Naz Shah, a Labour MP, is suspended after sharing a Facebook post suggesting Israel should be relocated to the United States.

Labour publishes an inquiry into antisemitism by Shami Chakrabarti, but the release is overshadowed by a row about remarks made by Corbyn in which he appeared to make a comparison between the Israeli government and Islamist extremists.

Corbyn expresses regret after it emerged he had in 2012 supported a street artist accused of producing an antisemitic mural in London’s east end.

Three days later, Corbyn issues his strongest condemnation yet of antisemitism, declaring he is “a militant opponent” of anti-Jewish hatred as members of the Jewish community organise a protest outside parliament. Corbyn makes many similar declarations in the run-up to the 2019 election.

Veteran Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge is subject to disciplinary proceedings after calling Corbyn an antisemite during an angry confrontation in the Commons chamber, after Labour chose not to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Three Jewish newspapers produce similar front pages, criticising Labour’s decision not to adopt the IHRA definition. In a joint editorial they write that a Corbyn led government would pose an ‘existential threat to Jewish life in this country’.

Corbyn declines to apologise after footage from 2013 emerges of him saying a group of Zionists had ‘no sense of irony’. Corbyn said he had used the term Zionist ‘in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people’.

Seven Labour MPs, including prominent Jewish member Luciana Berger, quit the party to found the short lived ChangeUK, in part accusing the party’s leadership of not doing enough to tackle antisemitism.

Labour is decisively defeated at the general election, prompting Corbyn to step down.

By Dan Sabbagh

The former Labour leader was suspended for his comments, which rejected the overall conclusions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism in the party, and said the problem was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and the media.

That statement set the former Labour leader directly at odds with his successor, who spoke at a press conference moments after Corbyn’s statement, where Starmer said those who “deny there is a problem are part of the problem … Those who pretend it is all exaggerated or factional are part of the problem.”

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