Resolved: Boris Johnson lives a charmed life. The UK prime minister has all sorts of headaches at the moment — a resurgent phase of COVID-19, economic woes, a sputtering bargaining process with the EU over their post-Brexit relationship among them. Even after gaining a big majority in the last election, Johnson should have some worries over his ability to compete against his opposition.

And he would … if his opposition didn’t keep tearing itself to pieces and coddle anti-Semites in its ranks and its leadership. Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had long faced accusations of either tolerating anti-Semitism in Labour ranks or outright participating in it. While Corbyn publicly pledged to clean up Labour’s act, his private actions suggested that he didn’t care much about the problem. And in fact, that’s precisely what the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) concluded after an extensive investigation:

The Labour party could have tackled antisemitism more effectively “if the leadership had chosen to do so”, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) concluded as part of its 130-page investigation released on Thursday. …

The EHRC concludes that “there was political interference in the handling of antisemitism complaints”, which it said was part of a “wider practice” of the leader of the opposition’s office getting involved “in disciplinary cases that were deemed ‘politically sensitive’”.

It reviewed 70 complaint files between March 2016 and May 2019 and concluded that there were 23 instances of political interference by staff from the leader’s office and others.

“These included clear examples of interference at various stages throughout the complaint-handling process, including in decisions on whether to investigate and whether to suspend,” the EHRC said.

As a result, the equality watchdog concluded this “was indirectly discriminatory and unlawful” and it held that the Labour party was legally responsible for it.

Corbyn responded that the EHRC had concocted a political hit job, and that Labour anti-Semitism was “overstated“:

Jeremy Corbyn has rejected the overall conclusions of a report on antisemitism in Labour, saying the problem was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and the media – a statement that sets him at odds with Keir Starmer. …

Corbyn said in his statement: “One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.

“That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome. While I do not accept all of its findings, I trust its recommendations will be swiftly implemented to help move on from this period.”

It’s the media’s fault is not exactly a winning message coming from Labour. Starmer, the current party leader, apparently agrees. Starmer suspended his predecessor’s membership in the party after that comment and removed his “whip,” the party’s parliamentary endorsement. Get ready for a Labour civil war, the Guardian warns, as loyal Corbynites line up behind their ally:

Labour has suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn after he said antisemitism in the party was “overstated” following a damning report from the equality watchdog.

The move is likely to ignite a civil war in the party between the leader, Keir Starmer, and Corbyn-supporting MPs. …

Moments after Corbyn’s statement was released, Starmer spoke at a press conference where he said those who “deny there is a problem are part of the problem … Those who pretend it is exaggerated or factional are part of the problem.”

Asked about Corbyn’s response to the report, Starmer told reporters he would “look carefully” at his predecessor’s comments. Two hours later, the party suspended Corbyn and withdrew the Labour whip.

If so, it might be an uncomfortable position for Corbyn’s progressive allies to take. While initially praising the EHRC report, pro-Corbyn progressive grassroots Momentum calls it “a massive attack on the left by the new leadership”:

A group of more than thirty socialist MPs also pledged to fight Corbyn’s suspension:

And meanwhile, Johnson’s Conservatives weren’t content to merely pass the popcorn:

The Tories are staking out this position now, in case Starmer backtracks and lifts Corbyn’s suspension under pressure from the Left. It’s a smart move, even if it might snap a little sense into the progressives who want to go to war with Starmer over a failed relic like Corbyn.

What does this brewing civil war mean for policy? If it continues for long, Labour will lose what little leverage it already enjoys. That strengthens the Tories, who can use that to their advantage in EU talks, as well as in dealing with border issues in Northern Ireland. It might even squelch Scottish independence for a while by denying them parliamentary leave for another referendum, although the longer Tories dominate, the more that the hard-Left Scots will want to escape, too.

For the most part, it just means that Boris Johnson lives a charmed political life … and likely will for the foreseeable future, too.