‘Kick out the anti-Semites’: Labour’s Keir Starmer heaps pressure on Corbyn over anti-Semitism crisis by demanding automatic expulsions as party braces for explosive Panorama investigation TONIGHT
- Sir Keir Starmer said party had to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to win back critics
- Said it was ‘very easy for people in leadership positions’ in the shadow Cabinet to ‘duck responsibility’
- Panorama has spoken with former Labour staff members about anti-Semitism
Labour members found guilty of anti-Semitic behaviour should automatically be thrown out of the party, a senior shadow minister said today.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer admitted Jeremy Corbyn’s beleaguered party still had a problem with anti-Jewish behaviour ahead of what is expected to be an explosive BBC exposé tonight.
Panorama has spoken with a host of former Labour staff members who have torn-up gagging orders to speak out about its handling of anti-Semitism cases.
Sir Keir Starmer said the party had to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to win back critics who had deserted Labour over the crisis.
And he took aim at Mrs Corbyn and his closest associates, saying it was ‘very easy for people in leadership positions’ in the shadow Cabinet to ‘duck responsibility’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think we have got to take decisive action.
Sir Keir Starmer said the party had to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to win back critics who had deserted Labour over the crisis
Three senior peers quit the Labour whip last night in protest at the handling of anti-Semitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn (pictured leaving home today)
‘Firstly, I would support a rule change that says you expel in clear cases of anti-Semitism automatically, just as we do for people who support another political party an election.
Lord Triesman was general secretary of the Labour Party under Tony Blair and chairman of the Football Association.
‘Secondly, be very clear if you deny we’ve got a problem, that’s part of the problem.
‘Thirdly – and this is a cultural and attitude issue – now the Equality and Human Rights Commission is looking at the Labour Party, we should throw open the books and say ”you’ve got access to anything, you have got access to any member of staff, we have made some process changes which have improved things but we have still got a problem, help us through this”.
‘Many organisations circle the wagons when they are challenged. That is the wrong approach, we have got to be very, very open.’
His comments came after three senior peers quit the Labour whip in protest at the handling of the issue under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
Lord Triesman, a former Labour general secretary and foreign office minister, said the party and its leadership are ‘institutionally anti-Semitic’, while Lord Darzi and Lord Turnberg also quit the Labour whip.
Lord Triesman told Newsnight: ‘It’s been building for a long time, incident after incident it’s like a mad psychodrama.
Lord Darzi told Newsnight: ‘I confirm I am leaving the Labour Whip to sit as independent’
‘I would like to see people who have been visibly and openly anti-Semitic dealt with in a way that is appropriate. I was general secretary of the organisation, I know it can be done.’
Sir Keir said their decision ‘reinforces the sense of duty that we have to do whatever is necessary in the Labour Party to make sure that people like David (Lord Triesman) … feel that they can return to the Labour Party with confidence’.