Labour anti-semitism: Keir Starmer's actions to weed out prejudice vindicate his decision to remain in party under Jeremy Corbyn – Brian Wilson

The most significant political event of the week may prove to be the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recognition that the Labour party has taken all the measures it recommended to address anti-semitism within it.

A shameful state of affairs that Keir Starmer inherited on becoming party leader had grown deep and insidious roots that had to be ruthlessly weeded out. The fact that he accepted that challenge and has now succeeded is a major act of leadership.

In 2020, when the Equalities and Human Rights Commission delivered its initial, damning report, Starmer described it as “a day of shame for the Labour party” which was being “investigated for breaching the equality legislation that a Labour government had introduced”.

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Three years on, the shame has been expunged but a permanent lesson has to be learned. People of extreme views will always seek a credible vehicle through which to promote them and if any vulnerability is created, either through naivete or intent, it is likely to be exploited.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, a legitimate political cause – support for the Palestinian people – insidiously crossed several lines into something poisonous. It was quite unknown to most members of the Labour but confirmed to exist by the commission.

Starmer was right to remain in the Labour party under Corbyn’s leadership. Otherwise neither he nor others who also took the decision to stay would have been around to atone for that shame and recreate an electable democratic socialist party. And for that, I am grateful.



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