Welsh Labour Grassroots condemns the suspension from party membership of Jeremy Corbyn and the removal of the whip from him.
In our view, Jeremy’s statement on the EHRC report, which apparently prompted this decision, contains nothing that would justify such action. As always, he was unequivocal about the unacceptability of antisemitic views and behaviour, and about the need for Labour to rebuild trust with Jewish communities.
His statement fully respected the seriousness of the EHRC report, as does Welsh Labour Grassroots, acknowledging the failings it identifies and the need for Labour to respond to its recommendations. As a longstanding democratic organisation of party members, WLG also reaffirms that there is no place in the Labour Party for antisemitism or any other form of racism or discrimination.
The grounds for Jeremy’s suspension have not yet been made clear and, moreover, the legitimacy of the process by which the decision was made appears questionable.
On a day when Labour was the subject of a report that directed the party to ensure that its disciplinary procedures are clear, consistent and fair, it is unfortunate, to say the least, that such a high-profile decision appears to have been made in such dubious circumstances.
As a former leader, it would be wholly unreasonable for Jeremy not to be able to comment on a report which is directed at his period in office. Page 27 of the report itself endorses this right very clearly:
“Article 10 [of the Human Rights Act] will protect Labour Party members who, for example … express their opinions on internal Party matters, such as the scale of antisemitism within the Party, based on their own experience and within the law.”Investigation Into Antisemitism in the Labour Party: EHRC, October 2020. Page 27.
Jeremy Corbyn’s record in fighting racism and prejudice in all its forms is, in our view, second to none. This makes it all the more deplorable that he should have been subject to repeated, inaccurate and baseless accusations that he somehow condoned, facilitated or even promoted antisemitism during his time as party leader. The action that has now been taken against him lends credence to these aspersions on the character of a decent and principled man. It also represents an unwarranted attack on those many thousands of Labour Party members who were and remain inspired by Jeremy’s socialist vision and principles, who now feel let down by the leadership’s action.
Welsh Labour Grassroots calls for the suspension to be dropped immediately and for the whip to be restored. Until this injustice is resolved, we urge members to offer Jeremy the maximum support and solidarity and, above all, to remain in the Labour party, to continue to fight for the politics and principles that he represents.