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Jewish Voice for Labour brands EHRC report on Labour anti-semitism as ‘intellectually dishonest poison’

THE Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on anti-semitism in the Labour Party was branded “intellectually dishonest poison” by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) yesterday.

Published last year, the report concludes that Labour was responsible for “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” relating to its handling of complaints of anti-semitism and comments made by party members and politicians.

JVL has published a series of rebuttals of the report, including a new book by Geoffrey Bindman QC titled How the EHRC Got It So Wrong.

In the book’s foreword, Mr Bindman wrote: “Instead of responding by setting up an inquiry into the way the party was handling, or mishandling, complaints, the commission saddled itself with the needless task of finding illegal conduct, not by those who made the offending statements but by the party itself.

“It claimed to have found the law had been broken in only two cases of harassment and two of indirect discrimination, all of which findings, as the following analysis demonstrates, were highly disputable.

“Predictably, what hit the headlines, when the report was published, was the humiliating conclusion – by the commission Labour had itself created – that the party had broken the law.”

JVL membership secretary Mike Cushman described the book as “an antidote to the EHRC poison.”

He said: “The commission undertook the task as though the political context of its initiation was uncontroversial.

“They took at face value the repeated allegations by politicians hostile to [former Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and relentlessly repeated in broadcast and print media, that a Corbyn-led Labour Party ‘represented an existential threat to Britain’s Jews’.”

Mr Cushman said the report is “intensely political,” adding that it ignores “the bitter arguments inside the party and holds the leadership responsible for actions of officials determined to undermine it.

“It insists on regarding the party as a singular command and control organisation but with valiant and discriminated-against individuals who, with only the flimsy protection of all the print and broadcast media, risked their futures by naysaying,” he said.

“The report is an intellectually dishonest poison. This [new book] is a meticulous antidote that could save the party if ingested speedily and deeply.”

How the EHRC Got It So Wrong is available free of charge at versobooks.com.

An EHRC spokesperson said: “Our investigation was based on a thorough and robust analysis of evidence.

“We found evidence of unlawful acts for which the party is responsible and suggesting otherwise ignores the genuine complaints of anti-semitism within the party.”

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