Keir Starmer orders urgent review into leaked antisemitism report

Labour leader calls for independent inquiry into internal review revealing party failings

The new Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has ordered an immediate review into a leaked internal report into antisemitism in the party which concluded that factional hostility to his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, hampered efforts to tackle the problem.

Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, said on Monday that an independent investigation would examine the leaking of the 860-page document, details of which emerged over the weekend, as well as its contents including the “wider culture and practices” it refers to and the “background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned and the process involved”.

The report uncovered many failings in the process for tackling antisemitism complaints before Jennie Formby, the current general secretary, took over in 2018. It said there was an “abundant evidence of a hyper-factional atmosphere prevailing in party HQ in this period, which appears to have affected the expeditious and resolute handling of disciplinary complaints”.

It was intended to be submitted as an annex to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission inquiry into Labour’s approach to dealing with antisemitism. It is understood that it will now not be submitted.

The report was completed this year in the last months of Corbyn’s leadership and its conclusions clash with complaints of whistleblowers, formerly working for Labour, who told BBC Panorama last year there had been political interference in the process from the top of the party under Corbyn.

The report, seen by the Guardian, says it found no evidence of antisemitism complaints being treated differently from other forms of complaint, or of current or former staff being “motivated by antisemitic intent”.

“We have also asked for immediate sight of any legal advice the Labour party has already received about the report,” Starmer and Rayner said in a statement.

“In the meantime, we ask everyone concerned to refrain from drawing conclusions before the investigation is complete and we will be asking the general secretary to put measures in place to protect the welfare of party members and party staff who are concerned or affected by this report.”

The previous Labour leadership’s handling of allegations of antisemitism against party members overshadowed parts of the 2019 general election campaign. During a high-profile televised interview with Andrew Neil, Corbyn repeatedly declined to apologise to the British Jewish community for the way his party had handled complaints.


Robert Booth and Rowena Mason

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Keir Starmer had his response ready. Then came Corbyn's post
Faultlines within party exposed by the conclusions of the EHRC report into antisemitism

Rajeev Syal and Jessica Elgot

29, Oct, 2020 @8:19 PM

Article image
Antisemitism inquiry 'must come before Labour officials hired'
MPs seek pause in top-level recruitment after leaked report alleging hostility to Corbyn undermined 2017 elections

Peter Walker Political correspondent

14, Apr, 2020 @6:14 PM

Article image
Labour in turmoil as Corbyn suspended in wake of antisemitism report
Former party leader said problem of antisemitism within Labour was ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’

Jessica Elgot, Deputy political editor, Peter Walker and Dan Sabbagh

29, Oct, 2020 @7:52 PM

Article image
Keir Starmer: EHRC antisemitism report is day of shame for Labour
Leader keeps open possibility of disciplinary action against predecessor Jeremy Corbyn

Peter Walker Political correspondent

29, Oct, 2020 @12:15 PM

Article image
Keir Starmer criticises Labour under Corbyn for 'turning on its staff'
Leadership candidates agreed antisemitism whistleblowers should receive apology

Rowena Mason and Kate Proctor

13, Feb, 2020 @10:37 PM

Article image
Jewish leaders praise Keir Starmer for pledges on Labour antisemitism
New Labour leader wins praise after setting out steps party would take to tackle issue

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

07, Apr, 2020 @12:28 PM

Article image
Keir Starmer hits back at McCluskey in Labour antisemitism row
Shadow minister says those who deny Labour has antisemitism issues are ‘part of the problem’

Pippa Crerar Deputy political editor

26, Apr, 2018 @9:27 AM

Article image
Antisemitism report opens up Labour's fault line all over again | John Crace
With Momentum rallying behind Corbyn against Starmer old battles are coming back to life

John Crace

29, Oct, 2020 @6:44 PM

Article image
Labour to accuse five ex-staff members of leaking antisemitism report
Ex-staff including Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy say they will ‘vigorously defend themselves’ in legal proceedings

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

11, Oct, 2021 @5:13 PM

Article image
Antisemitism in Labour: what did the report find and what happens next?
Labour was found to have broken equalities law, but what is the EHRC and what were the terms of its inquiry?

Rajeev Syal

29, Oct, 2020 @3:16 PM