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.