You might have noticed #LabourReport trending on social media – here’s a look at what the leaked report is and what is being done about it by new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
What is the ‘Labour Report’?
The report that has been hitting the headlines is an internal Labour Party report into antisemitism in the party, officially entitled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019”. The report is 860 pages long and concluded that factional hostility to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hampered efforts to tackle the problem of antisemitism in the party. Details about the report emerged over the Easter weekend, with the report being leaked to Sky News.
Why was the reported created?
It is understood that the reported was completed this year during the last months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and was originally intended to be submitted to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission inquiry into Labour’s approach to dealing with antisemitism. It is understood the report will now not be submitted, with lawyers of the Labour Party reportedly considering that the report covers a time period and issues not falling within the scope of the EHRC inquiry.
What is the background to the report?
The Labour Party has experienced problems regarding antisemitism for some time now. In March 2019, a spokesperson for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission said: “Having received a number of complaints regarding anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, we believe Labour may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs.”
The issue of antisemitism was frequently mentioned at the 2019 UK General Election, where Labour lost 59 seats.
The new Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to deal with the issue of antisemitism, holding a meeting with the Board of Deputies of British Jews within his first week in office.
What’s in the report?
The internal report said an “abnormal intensity of factional opposition” to Jeremy Corbyn “inhibited the proper functioning” of the party and its complaints procedure.
The report claims to have found “no evidence” of antisemitism complaints being treated differently to other forms of complaint in the party, or of current or former staff at the party being “motivated by antisemitic intent”, but says there was a lack of “robust processes, systems, training, education and effective line management” that hampered the party’s response to antisemitism complaints. The report also described “abundant evidence of a hyper-factional atmosphere prevailing in Party HQ” towards Jeremy Corbyn, saying this affected the handling of disciplinary complaints.
The report uncovers thousands of email and WhatsApp communications between former senior party officials.
How has the new Labour Labour responded?
New Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has ordered an immediate review into the report. Sir Keir and his deputy Angela Rayner have said that an independent investigation will examine the report, its contents and the circumstances and process surrounding it being commissioned.
In a statement, Sir Kier and Ms Rayner said;
“We have also asked for immediate sight of any legal advice the Labour party has already received about the report”
“In the meantime, we ask everyone concerned to refrain from drawing conclusions before the investigation is complete and we will be asking the general secretary to put measures in place to protect the welfare of party members and party staff who are concerned or affected by this report.”