Three UK Labour peers resign over party’s antisemitism

Three British Labour peers have resigned over the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints, with the former general secretary David Triesman arguing the party was “plainly institutionally antisemitic”.

Lord Triesman, who is Jewish and an ex-chairman of the Football Association, said he was resigning the whip in the House of Lords.

Ara Darzi, a former health minister, and Leslie Turnberg, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians, also told Angela Smith, the party’s leader in the Lords, that they were leaving the Labour benches.

In his letter of resignation, Triesman wrote: “We may one day be the party of anti-racism once again but it certainly isn’t today. My sad conclusion is that the Labour party is very plainly institutionally antisemitic, and its leader and his circle are antisemitic having never once made the right judgment call about an issue reflecting deep prejudice. The number of examples is shocking.”

He said the Labour party was “no longer a safe political environment” for Jewish people or others who opposed antisemitism.

“It is time to recognise the reality. I always said it was worth hanging on to fight so long as there was a prospect of winning. I now don’t believe with this leadership there is,” he said.

Lord Darzi told the BBC’s Newsnight: “As an Armenian survivor of the Armenian genocide I have zero tolerance to antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatered or any other discrimination against religion or race.”

Responding to the peers, a Labour spokeswoman said the party “completely rejects these false and offensive claims”.

 

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