UK Parliament Committee May Recall Labour Party Leader Over ‘Inaccurate, Misleading’ Testimony During Antisemitism Inquiry
The head of Britain’s Labour Party may be forced to reappear before a powerful parliamentary committee over “inaccurate and misleading” answers he gave while defending his party’s recent antisemitism inquiry, the UK’s Guardian reported.
According to the report, Jeremy Corbyn is likely to be hauled in for questioning again by the Home Affairs Select Committee, after its chairman, Keith Vaz, — also a Labour party member — received official complaints by two committee members over Corbyn’s testimony.
The complaints were filed by members of both the Conservative and Labour parties, and Vaz told the newspaper he also received additional complaints about Corbyn’s testimony from the public, highlighting similar problems.
“I have received two letters asking that Jeremy Corbyn be summoned to appear before the committee, as well as other complaints. The committee will consider the matter and its next meeting on Tuesday,” Vaz stated.
Conservative Member of Parliament Tim Loughton — who filed one of the complaints — reportedly took issue with comments Corbyn made regarding his relationship with Paul Eisen, a notorious British Holocaust denier. According to Corbyn’s testimony, after being made aware of Eisen’s views about the Holocaust, the Labour leader did not attend any events involving Eisen. New evidence has emerged showing otherwise.
“I was shocked by the answers he gave the committee and I’m not surprised they want to speak to him again. He attended Paul Eisen’s events years after everyone knew about his Holocaust denial,” a Labour MP told the Guardian.
As reported by The Algemeiner, in late June, the Labour Party released its long-awaited findings into allegations of antisemitism within party ranks. The inquiry — which some have called a “whitewash” — concluded that while there is an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” within Labour, it is “not overrun by antisemitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of racism.” The investigation made 20 recommendations, but did not approve lifetime bans for party members who engage in antisemitic or racist behavior.
Last Monday, during Corbyn’s appearance before the committee, Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani ridiculed the party’s antisemitism report, likening it to something “that would have been written for some children to understand what is and isn’t antisemitic and racist,” The Algemeiner reported.
“Do you really need a report to tell you these words were offensive?” she asked, referring to its recommendation to refrain from using terms such as “Paki” and “Zio,” adding, “And did you really need a report to tell you that comparing Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust to the Jewish people is inappropriate?”
In response, Corbyn stated, “Of course, I know these words are deeply offensive…I just wanted — and I’m pleased the report includes it — to make it absolutely clear…We would not accept this idea of equivalence — the Hitler comparison — and other issues like that…It’s there as a recommendation, which I hope will be accepted by our party.”
Pressure is mounting on Corbyn by members of his own party to resign as head of Labour, calls he has widely ignored. On Monday, former Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle is expected to formally challenge Corbyn for the party’s leadership.