The long-awaited report into antisemitism in our party was published yesterday by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Its contents didn’t surprise me but I was shocked. Like Keir, I was also pained by the stark failures revealed at every level of our party.
In three areas our party was found to have acted unlawfully.
Firstly, there was political interference, including from the leader’s office, in complaints regarding anti-semitism.
There was a failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-semitism complaints.
And thirdly, harassment, including suggestions that complaints of anti-semitism were fake or smears were confirmed.
We will change. We will implement every single recommendation. And we’ll change the culture within Labour that provided safe harbour for anti-semitism in the first place.
No one should be in doubt. This is what Keir Starmer said: “If there are still those who think there’s no problem with anti-semitism in the Labour Party, that it’s all exaggerated or a factional attack, then, frankly, you are part of the problem too. And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.”
And at last you don’t have to take my word for it – look at the actions Keir took today. He means business and will waste no time. And he knows he can count on me totally for loyal support.
I have longed to face local Jewish residents and point to deeds in addition to words. Today that time has arrived.
I know we have a long way to go but we’ll get there. By law, Labour must implement many of the findings within six weeks – and we will.
Beyond that we must deliver yet more procedural and cultural changes – and we will.
I am sorry for the hurt we have caused. Anyone who’s met me or heard me talk on this will know I truly mean it.
Labour has paid a high price for the failure to tackle anti-semitism. We lost control of our council as three councillors were suspended from the party because of links to anti-semitism. It was a key factor in our general election loss last year.
Worst of all, we also lost our self-respect.
People get angry when those in power don’t pay a price for wilful mistakes. Labour has paid a price. We are sorry and we are changing.
I’ve written to local rabbis and I’ve written to every member of the Labour Party. Now I’m writing to you as residents.
It’s not often that I write about Labour because we are here to serve and that means talking about you not us. But this is a big issue that does affect you too and I wanted you to hear about it from me as well as Labour’s leader.
Our country is suffering. Now this issue within Labour is being dealt with, I hope you’ll see us more and more as the solution to the country’s problems and challenges.
I can promise you that there are many, many of us who are working day and night to make that happen.
Peter Kyle is the Labour MP for Hove. This post first appeared on Peter Kyle’s Facebook page.
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