Jeremy Corbyn Could Be Expelled From Labour Over Anti-Semitism, His Successor Says

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Starmer, left, with Jeremy Corbyn at the European Union headquarters in Brussels after a bilateral Brexit meeting, Sept. 27, 2018. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

UNITED KINGDOM (JTA) — Jeremy Corbyn, who was suspended from Britain’s Labour party this week for downplaying its anti-Semitism problem, could be kicked out of the party altogether, his successor said.

In an interview Friday, Keir Starmer, who succeeded Corbyn as party chief in April, responded to the dramatic fallout from a report this week by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found that Labour had violated anti-discrimination laws under Corbyn by mishandling complaints and committing “unlawful harassment” of Jews by two party agents. The report, published Thursday, was the first time that a mainstream party was the focus of an investigation by the government’s racism watchdog, whose findings are binding.

Corbyn, a far-left politician who has been accused by the current and previous chief rabbis of Britain of being personally anti-Semitic, responded to the report by reiterating his objection to anti-Semitism, but added that the problem has been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.” Starmer responded by suspending Corbyn, pending a party review.

The review, Starmer told Radio 4, could result in the first-ever expulsion of a former party leader from its ranks. “Yes, people have been expelled from the Labour party,” Starmer said in response to a question about whether Corbyn could be permanently removed. Of the 827 anti-Semitism cases investigated since April, about a third have resulted in expulsion from the party, he said.

Corbyn has vowed to fight the possibility of expulsion, calling that move political, too.

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