LONDON—Just six months after he stepped down as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn has been kicked out of the party as part of a lingering anti-Semitism crisis that sullied much of his leadership.
It is the first time a former leader has been kicked out of the party since 1931, as Keir Starmer seeks to reshape the party after four years of Corbyn’s radical left-wing leadership.
A report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published Thursday ruled that Labour had breached equality laws under the leadership of Corbyn, who has been accused of failing to stamp out anti-Jewish rhetoric within the left-wing, anti-Israel fringes of the party.
The report by the EHRC, which has previously only been moved to investigate racism within the far-right British National Party, found that the system for dealing with incidents of anti-Semitism was inadequate under Corbyn. “It is hard not to conclude that anti-Semitism within the Labour party could have been tackled more effectively if the leadership had chosen to do so,” it said.
This stinging personal attack on Corbyn was not enough to do for him, but his response on Thursday morning triggered swift action from Starmer.
Corbyn wrote an equivocating Facebook post in which he accepted that anti-Semitism was unacceptable but claimed its prevalence within the Labour Party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons.”
Minutes after a press conference on how he would resolve the anti-Semitism issue within the party, Starmer ordered Corbyn to retract his statement. The former leader refused to do so, and was formally suspended from the party.