Labor is still in special measures on anti-Semitism despite its two-year action plan coming to an end, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
The party was forced to come up with an action plan or face legal action after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found “serious failings” under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
The action plan’s two-year monitoring period ended in December 2022 and the equality watchdog is preparing to make a statement to end it.
But the EHRC is not expected to rule the party out of special measures, suggesting it believes some issues remain unresolved.
Second Labor party to be investigated by the EHRC
Labor has joined the British National Party (BNP) to become the second ever political party to be investigated by the UK’s human rights watchdog, after it launched an official probe into allegations of anti-Semitism.
The EHRC initiated legal action in 2009 against the BNP over concerns about ethnic restrictions on its membership.
The EHRC announced in May 2019 that it would conduct a root and branch review of the Labor party’s approach to allegations of anti-Jewish hatred.
The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the party or its employees and agents had committed illegal acts, as well as to assess whether Labour’s response to complaints complied with the law.
The 16-month review of the Labor party ended with Mr Corbyn accused of presiding over “serious failures” in the system for handling anti-Semitism complaints.
The workforce has failed to prevent acts of harassment and discrimination
His damning report, published in October 2020, ruled that the party had broken the law by failing to prevent “acts of harassment and discrimination” and said Mr Corbyn’s leadership had not “done enough to tackle anti-Semitism prevention and, in the worst case, that it could be. it appears to be accepted”.
Investigators noted a “lack of leadership within the Labor Party on these issues”, which the report said was “difficult to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism”.
He said: “The Labor Party must live up to this promise and acknowledge the impact that multiple investigations and years of failure to tackle anti-Semitism have had on Jews.”
The report also said it “revealed serious failings” in how complaints were handled until at least 2018.
‘The need for vigilance will never end’
A Labor source confirmed that the party is still in special measures but said they are hopeful they will be reached soon.
“Even when we are, it won’t mean the need for vigilance is over – that will be there regardless of the outcome of the review,” they told the Sunday Telegraph.
“It is very unfortunate that we will continue to find people in the membership who are anti-Semitic and we will continue to act against them.”
Sir Keir Starmer used a speech last week at the annual Labor Conference in London to tell members that they must continue to “fight anti-Semitism and transform our party”.
He warned that if they do not, the party would be unelectable, saying: “If we stop for one moment, we forget the right to change our communities, our cities, our country. That is what a party fit to serve the country means.”
Earlier this week a Labor MP was forced to apologize after calling the Israeli government “fascist” and referring to the country as an “apartheid state”.
Sir Keir’s spokesman criticized Kim Johnson for her comments during Prime Minister’s Questions lunchtime on Wednesday.
She is understood to have been summoned by the Labor chief minister before returning to Parliament later in the day to apologize for the remarks, which came amid a recent surge in violence in Israel and Palestine.
The Labor party and the EHRC declined to comment.