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Source: Labour List UK

© UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

Jeremy Corbyn has been readmitted to the Labour Party after being suspended last month over his response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on Labour antisemitism.

A panel of five Labour national executive committee (NEC) members convened for several hours this afternoon to consider his case – and ultimately decided to reinstate the former leader of the party.

A well-placed source has told LabourList that, along with the suspension being lifted, they expect the Islington North MP to receive a ‘reminder of values’ by the party, which is less severe than a ‘reminder of conduct’.

The NEC members at the meeting included Labour to Win-backed local party rep Gurinder Singh Josan, Momentum-backed Yasmine Dar, UNISON’s Wendy Nichols, the FBU’s Ian Murray and ‘soft left’ councillor Alice Perry.

The former Labour leader released a statement on Tuesday morning on the subject of his suspension in which he tried to clarify previous comments and expressed hope that “this matter is resolved as quickly as possible”.

Corbyn did not directly apologise for his original response, as some had urged him to do, but said: “I regret the pain this issue has caused the Jewish community and would wish to do nothing that would exacerbate or prolong it.

“To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated”. The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour Party members were and remain committed anti-racists deeply opposed to antisemitism.”

The Jewish Labour Movement has described the decision to lift the suspension as “extraordinary” and said the move would “embolden those who agreed with him” when he “downplayed the reality of antisemitism in the Labour Party”.

The party-affiliated organisation has criticised the decision on the basis that it was “expedited” by the party and taken by a “factionally-aligned political committee”. Many critics have focused on the make-up of the NEC panel.

Margaret Hodge tweeted: “This is a broken outcome from a broken system. A factional, opaque and dysfunctional complaints process could never reach a fair conclusion. This is exactly why the EHRC instructed Labour to setup an independent process!

“I simply cannot comprehend why it is acceptable for Corbyn to be a Labour MP if he thinks antisemitism is exaggerated and a political attack, refuses to apologise, never takes responsibility for his actions & rejects the findings of the EHRC report. Ridiculous.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, which referred Labour to the EHRC and complained about Corbyn, accused the party of conducting “nothing more than a media stunt to blunt the blow of the EHRC’s report last month”.

Unite’s Len McCluskey said the readmission is “the correct, fair and unifying decision”, adding: “As a party we now move forward to implement the EHRC’s recommendations and redouble our efforts to inspire voters about Keir’s ten pledges.”

Momentum co-chair Andrew Scattergood said: “This is the right outcome and testament to the efforts of thousands of Labour members across the country who have stood up to defend Corbyn and the rights of socialists within the party.”

The group has also branded recent disciplinary action against ordinary members “unwarranted” and urged the party to reinstate those who have been suspended after considering motions on Corbyn’s suspension at a local level.

A number of Labour MPs on the party’s left such as Kate Osborne tweeted their approval of the decision, with Lloyd Russell-Moyle saying: “We must go forward united and expose the failures of this government.”

Corbyn was suspended nearly three weeks ago after controversially claiming that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents” in his response to the EHRC report.

The report on Labour antisemitism had found that the party was responsible for “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” and “serious failings in leadership” during the time that Corbyn was in charge.

A Labour spokesperson announced on October 29th that Corbyn was being suspended by the party due to “his comments” and “his failure to retract them subsequently”, and the Islington MP had the whip removed.

MIL OSI United Kingdom