Corbyn proposes changes to procedure on anti-Semitism

British Labour leader proposes changes to party’s complaints system to speed up expulsion of members over anti-Semitism.

Elad Benari ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has proposed changes to the party’s complaints system to speed up the expulsion of members over anti-Semitism, the BBC reported Monday.

Corbyn told his frontbench team he wanted to "confront this poison" but the process sometimes took too long.

A statement from shadow cabinet said they supported the proposals, but still backed "independent oversight" as well.

The development comes a day after Corbyn acknowledged that his party has an anti-Semitism problem as Labour launched an educational webpage that hopes to help drive anti-Semitism out of the party.

The Labour party has been shaken by accusations of anti-Semitism for several years, with dozens of members having been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

The party said on Monday that eight party members were expelled in the first six months of 2019 over anti-Semitism allegations. Some 625 complaints were also received in that same period, according to the BBC.

Corbyn said earlier that while only a "small number" of members held anti-Semitic views, a larger number did not recognize stereotypes and conspiracy theories.

The current process for dealing with anti-Semitism allegations sees a disciplinary panel meet to examine claims. If they think there is a case against a member, they refer it to Labour's National Constitutional Committee, which then has the power to suspend or expel individuals.

Critics, including deputy leader Tom Watson, have said the process takes too long and there should be an option to automatically expel people.

Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders.

Much of the criticism against Corbyn is over his playing down the anti-Semitism in his party and alienating Jews, but he insists he is not an anti-Semite and claims he has opposed it his entire life.

Earlier this month, the BBC's Panorama revealed claims from a number of former party officials that some of Corbyn's closest allies tried to interfere in disciplinary processes involving allegations of anti-Semitism.

Labour has rejected claims of interference in its disciplinary processes and described the Panorama program as "seriously inaccurate" and "politically one-sided".