British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said a recent BBC program on anti-Semitism in the party had “many, many inaccuracies.”
Corbyn, quoted by the Guardian daily newspaper as saying Saturday at the Durham Miners’ Gala that he watched the program that aired Wednesday titled “Is Labour anti-Semitic,” also said the program “adopted a predetermined position on its own website before it was broadcast.”
The investigative program reported that thousands of hate speech complaints led to only 15 expulsions from the party. The findings appear to confirm allegations earlier this year that made Labour the subject of an official probe by the United Kingdom’s watchdog on racism.
He said, according to the Guardian, that every accusation of anti-Semitism against members of his party is taken seriously. “We investigate every case that comes up… It’s less than 0.1 percent of our membership that have ever been involved in any accusation.”
Labour denied that Corbyn’s team had intervened in disciplinary cases, saying the claims were made by “disaffected former officials.”
Meanwhile, a letter published Saturday in the Guardian signed by a group of Jewish writers and artists expresses their “bewilderment and disgust” with Labour’s handling of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
The letter – signed by Howard Jacobson, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sir Simon Schama, Neil Blair, Tracy Ann Oberman and Rabbi Julia Neuberger – claims that anti-Semitism has been “protected, sanctioned and propagated by the leadership faction.”
If the allegations of interference are correct, they mean that Corbyn’s team has compromised Labour’s internal processes and ethics committee. That would strengthen the case for external action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which began its probe of Labour earlier this year.