Jeremy Corbyn stain on Labour makes it ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ for Starmer to ‘scrub clean’
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Sir Keir replaced Mr Corbyn as Labour leader in April during a period of turmoil in which the party had faced allegations of anti-Semitism. He immediately vowed to reunite a party that had been beset by vicious infighting. But the crisis for Sir Keir deepened last month when Labour suspended Mr Corbyn after the former leader said the extent of anti-Semitism in the party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”, in response to a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The findings of the 18-month investigation found the Labour Party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.
Labour was found to be responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act (2010) relating to: political interference in complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism cases and harassment.
Sir Keir Starmer described the report from the EHRC as a “day of shame” for the party and that he is “truly sorry” for the pain and grief caused.
He added: “The report’s conclusions are clear and stark – they leave no room for equivocation.”
But Mr Corbyn has vowed to fight back against the decision to suspend him, with several far-left supporters from within the party piling the pressure on Sir Keir for his reinstatement.
One political expert has warned Sir Keir faces a near-impossible job to rid Labour of the “stain” left by Mr Corbyn and allegations of anti-Semitism while at the same time trying to fend off a growing rebellion from the far-left.
John Macdonald, Head of Government Affairs at the Adam Smith Institute think tank, told Express.co.uk: “The stain of anti-Semitism will be extremely difficult to remove.
“In suspending Jeremy Corbyn, Starmer has proven his commitment to scrubbing it clean. But the more he does so, the more he will have to battle far left fanatics.
“It is clear that they would rather see Corbyn reinstated and torpedo Labour’s credibility than improve Labour’s performance at the ballot box.
He added: “Starmer’s mission is in direct conflict with theirs. His only option is to make Labour respectable again, which will require him to diminish the influence of radical leftists inside the party.
“While this might cost him the advantage of a formidable force of far-left ground campaigners, it is the only way he can broaden Labour’s appeal to voters.”
Alistair Jones, Associate Professor in Politics, and University Teacher Fellow, at De Montfort University, Leicester, believes Sir Keir faces a “near impossible job” to reunite a Labour and that the “scar on the party will remain for a while”.
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But he praised the efforts from the Labour leader in trying to root out any remaining anti-Semitism in Labour, adding he needs to continue to be consistent in his approach in dealing with the issue if the party is to win back support.
Professor Jones told this website: “The scar on the party will remain for a while, and Starmer has a near impossible job, as every Labour leader has found.
“Sometimes the fight within Labour appears more important than the fight against the Conservatives. It is over the ‘ideological purity’ of the party.
“We have seen similar in the Conservative Party during the Blair and Brown years.
“Hague, IDS and Howard all suffered a similar problem. Cameron smoothed over aspects of that division. Starmer is trying to do the same in the Labour Party.
“However, as long as there is a degree of consistency in how Starmer is rooting out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, then public support – and particularly that from the Jewish community – will return.
Professor Jones offered hope to Sir Keir but warned: “He needs to be consistent in what he is doing. Thus, if someone from the centre of the party acts/tweets in an inappropriate manner, the punishment must be consistent as with other offenders.
“Failure in this consistency will see increasing upset on the left of the party and will be flagged up in the mass media, thus undermining Starmer.
Wyn Grant, a British political scientist and professor of politics at the University of Warwick, also praised the response from Sir Keir in trying to clean out any anti-Semitism remaining in Labour, urging him to “tough out” a rebellion from the far-left.
He said: “Clearly the whole affair has been harmful for the Labour Party’s reputation, but Keir Starmer’s response has offset that to some extent.
“The way for Starmer to deal with any far-left rebellion is to tough it out.
“The desire to win is now paramount. These developments could enhance Starmer’s control of the party, although the results of the NEC elections for party members will be important and give an indication of the way thinking is going.”
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