Corbyn promotes author of controversial UK Labour anti-Semitism report to House of Lords

Shortly after the announcement was made, Jewish community leaders and organizations voiced outrage at the appointment.

August 5, 2016 18:13
2 minute read.
Jeremy Corbyn

BRITISH LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after delivering his keynote speech at the party’s annual conference in Brighton in September 2015. (. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The lead investigator of a report concerning anti-Semitism allegations into the UK's Labour party has been promoted to England's House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Jewish Chronicle reported Friday.

Shami Chakrabarti, a human right's lawyer who cleared the Labour party of any "anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism” following a months-long investigation, accepted the peerage from the party's leader Jeremy Corbyn just five weeks after submitting her findings.

Shortly after the announcement was made, Jewish community leaders and organizations voiced outrage at the appointment. 

Britain's Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said that Chakrabarti's report "lies in tatters" while "the Labour Party's stated intention, to unequivocally tackle antisemitism, remains woefully unrealized," according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Meanwhile, The Community Trust, a UK anti-Semitism monitoring group, called the move "a shameless kick in the teeth for all who put hope in her now wholly compromised inquiry into Labour antisemitism," added the Chronicle.

The report, released on June 30, makes 20 key recommendations, calling for party members to avoid using epithets such as “Zio,”and to “resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine in particular.” It also suggests that several committees be established to educate party members of the issue and to proper enforce sanctions.

It does not, however, take a hard stance on punishing anti-Semitism by party members – cautioning against the use of lifetime bans and automatic suspensions – and it does not call to punish any of the Labour members whose statements prompted the inquiry.

A Corbyn spokesperson later told the Chronicle that Chakrabarti was "an ideal appointment to the Lords" after the British daily asked if the appointment did not appear to undermine the integrity of the investigation.

Last month, during an interview with London Jewish YouTube channel J-TV, Chakrabarti chose to "evade" answering if she was offered peerage to the House of Lords before or during the investigation, saying she was not going to discuss her “future ambitions.”

Chakrabarti also said during her interview that she joined the Labour party the same day she was announced as the special investigator into the anti-Semitsm probe, adding that the inquiry should be conducted internally within the party.

Josh Salomon contributed to this report.


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