UK equality watchdog opens antisemitism probe into Labour party

Labour has faced accusations of antisemitism for over two years and consistently denies them.

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn (photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)
Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)
LONDON - Britain's equality watchdog said on Tuesday it was launching a formal investigation to determine whether Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party has discriminated against, harassed or victimized people because they are Jewish.
Labour, Britain's main opposition party, has promised to cooperate fully with the investigation, it added.
"We contacted Labour after receiving a number of complaints about allegations of antisemitism in the party," the Equality and Human Rights Commission said in a statement.
"We have carefully considered the response we received from the Party and have now opened a formal investigation... to further examine the concerns."
"CST welcome the EHRC's decision to investigate the Labour Party," said Director of Communications Mark Gardner of the UK Community Security Trust (CST) in a response on Twitter. "This is a result of the failure of the current leadership of the Labour Party to address its own bias and behaviour."
"We hope the EHRC inquiry will bring about the change needed to reverse the worsening problem of antisemitism and the damage it is doing to both the Labour Party and British Jews," the tweet continued.
Labour has faced accusations of antisemitism for over two years and consistently denies them.
Nine lawmakers quit the party in February, citing the leadership's handling of the accusations, as well as its Brexit stance, as their reason for leaving.
In the same month, Labour suspended one of its lawmakers and said it would investigate his conduct after he said the party had been "too apologetic" in the long-running row.
A veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights, Corbyn, had been criticized by members, lawmakers and Jewish leaders for not fully adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of antisemitism.
Last September, the party agreed to adopt the definition.