Labour peers are to hold an emergency meeting next week to consider a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as the crisis over the party’s response to anti-Semitism allegations continues to deepen.
It came as staff working for Labour voted to condemn the party’s response to a BBC documentary that alleged the Labour leader’s office interfered in the complaints process relating to anti-Semitism – a claim the party denies.
On Tuesday night, Labour frontbencher Baroness Hayter was fired for comparing the “bunker mentality” around Mr Corbyn’s leadership to the “last days of Hitler”.
Reports suggest that peers will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss a confidence motion, with a ballot to be held on Tuesday or Wednesday if it is passed. The move would not be binding, but would hugely embarrassing for the leadership.
A Labour source said: “It would be both undemocratic and absurd for unelected peers with no mandate to seek to remove an elected leader who twice won the landslide support of Labour’s membership and led Labour to the biggest increase in the party’s vote since 1945.”
Meanwhile, members of the GMB union employed by Labour held a branch meeting on Thursday, backing a motion that called for an apology to former employees it said had been “attacked” for being interviewed as part of the BBC Panorama programme.
The branch voted by 124 to four to reaffirm a commitment to tackle anti-Semitism across the Labour movement and express solidarity with Jewish colleagues and members who have experienced anti-Semitism.
A GMB spokesman said: “Our members have today expressed a number of serious concerns that must be addressed by Labour Party management.
“GMB’s local branch representatives will be scheduling urgent meetings with Labour Party management to ensure the range of concerns tabled today are properly acted upon.”
On Wednesday, Baroness Hayter lost her post as shadow Brexit minister after she attacked Mr Corbyn’s inner circle and the way it has criticised the BBC.
A Labour Party spokesman said of Baroness Hayter’s sacking: “To compare the Labour leader and Labour Party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.”