The British Labour Party has failed to take disciplinary action against hundreds of members accused of antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, according to internal documents leaked to The Sunday Times.
A hard drive of emails and a confidential database last updated on March 8 reveal how the party’s system for dealing with such complaints is bedevilled by delays, inaction and interference from the leader’s office.
They reveal members investigated for posting such online comments as “Heil Hitler”, “F*** the Jews” and “Jews are the problem” have not been expelled, even though the party received the complaints a year ago.
A sitting councillor in Lancashire was let back into the party after fuming about “Jewish” media attacks and the Rothschild family. She told party investigators she meant “Jewish” as a “blanket term of description without any racist connotations”. In Manchester, a trade union official was readmitted despite sharing material saying “Jewish Israelis” were behind 9/11. Corbyn’s office has been involved in approving, delaying or blocking at least 101 complaints.
The party claims the disciplinary process has been free from political interference since March last year. A month later, however, Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, said that “going forward” his office needed an “overview” of politically sensitive cases.
Of 863 complaints overall, 454 (53%) are unresolved, including 249 where the party has not started an investigation. There are 176 ongoing probes. Just 29 cases have been referred to the body authorised to expel individuals.
Of 409 cases where a decision was reached, 191 members faced no further action and 145 received a formal warning — which has no impact on membership or ability to stand as party candidate. Fewer than 30 were expelled; the rest left the party of their own accord.
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to rooting it out. All complaints are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures. We can’t comment on individual cases.”