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JEWISH Voice for Labour (JVL) has accused Sir Keir Starmer of being in “denial” over evidence of racism and misogyny among Labour officials on the first anniversary of a damning leaked report.
The group said that Labour supporters were becoming alienated by the leadership’s continuing “unwillingness” to pursue the report’s shocking revelations, which included senior party officials exchanging abusive remarks about Jeremy Corbyn’s team while seeking to sabotage the party’s attempt to win the 2017 general election.
The report, leaked on April 12 last year, looked at thousands of internal emails and WhatsApp chat groups between officials in the governance and legal unit (GLU), the department that handles complaints, and other senior staff in Labour HQ.
It found a litany of abusive, derogatory, misogynistic and bullying remarks made about the former leader, his team and supporters, including allegations of racism against black Labour MPs from some party staff.
It was written amid the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s probe into allegations of anti-semitism in the party, which found that there had been political inference into complaints of discrimination against members.
JVL’s Mike Cushman said that the GLU report demonstrated the “strange contradictions at the heart of Labour’s right wing.
“It demonstrated an enthusiasm to embrace and endorse any accusation of anti-semitism, no matter how flimsy or contrived, against sympathisers with the Corbyn project,” he said.
“[It also showed] an unwillingness to pursue a number of egregious cases of truly unacceptable behaviour alongside a denial of even the strongest evidence of racism and misogyny among the pre-Corbyn bureaucrats and parliamentary opponents of the mass of [party] members.
“The reaction of the party to set up the never-reporting Forde inquiry and to prohibit black and Asian members from speaking out about their everyday experience of the party compounded the problem and alienated supporters from communities the party exists to represent.”
The Forde probe, set up to investigate how the GLU report was leaked in the first place, has been hit by delays.
Nine black Labour MPs, including former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, wrote to Sir Keir in February to warn that the “indefinite delay” to the investigation risked giving a strong impression that the party was “not taking anti-black racism seriously.”
Labour has been contacted for comment.
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