Three Former UK Labour Party Members Arrested in Antisemitism Investigation
Three people have been arrested on charges of disseminating materials likely to incite racism in an investigation into a dossier on antisemitism in the UK Labour Party.
Since far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, the party has been wracked by antisemitism scandals, several touching Corbyn himself. Jewish groups have criticized Labour for not adequately tackling the problem. Last month, several prominent Labour MPs left the party, citing institutionalized antisemitism as one of the reasons.
The dossier in question was compiled by the Labour Party itself, and was leaked to the LBC radio station, which conveyed it to the Metropolitan Police.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Scotland Yard said that it had arrested two men in their 50s and a woman in her 70s for “publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred” on the basis of the dossier. The suspects — all former members of Labour — were “interviewed under caution” and then released pending an investigation.
In response to the news, Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said, “I am pleased that three arrests have been made after I reported the secret Labour Party dossier to the Commissioner live on air, but the dossier contains many more hate crimes which must also result in arrests.”
“Moreover, officers must demand that the Labour Party hands over further dossiers we know of and seize them if it refuses, so that police can investigate whether the Labour Party’s decision to keep evidence of crimes and admissions of guilt secret actually results in criminal liability for those responsible within the Party,” he added.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Community Security Trust and the Jewish Leadership Council issued a joint statement, saying, “It is highly significant that the Metropolitan Police have now made three arrests in connection with Labour’s antisemitism problem. This follows the passing of an internal Labour dossier to Commissioner Cressida Dick by LBC Radio, regarding a single batch of 45 cases of alleged antisemitism within the Party.”
“We await the outcome of the investigations, but ask why Labour had not itself alerted the Police,” they added.
“We are also concerned as to how many more cases remain unknown and repeat our request, made one year ago to Mr. Corbyn, that the Party urgently appoint an independent ombudsman on such matters,” they noted
A Labour spokesperson said in response to the arrests, “We welcome the police investigating these individuals’ alleged crimes. Antisemitism has no place in our society and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”