‘This is your legacy Mr Corbyn’: 67 Labour peers’ advert on antisemitism

A full-page advert has been taken out in The Guardian today that shows 67 Labour peers accusing Jeremy Corbyn of leaving a legacy of antisemitism in the party and having “failed the test of leadership”.

The text tells the Labour leader that it is the “style” of his office and his supporters “to deny the truth of the message and denounce the messengers”.

Signatories include former general secretary Iain McNicol, ex-cabinet member Peter Hain, key New Labour figure Peter Mandelson and shadow health spokesperson Glenys Thornton.

A Labour spokesperson commented on the advert, describing its claims as “false and misleading” and delivered “by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics”.

The party spokesperson added: “Jeremy Corbyn has made clear in interviews, videos and articles that there is no place for antisemitism in the party.

“Jennie Formby has sped up and strengthened procedures and the rate at which cases are dealt with has increased more than four-fold. Since September 2015, the number of cases that have undergone disciplinary procedures relate to about 0.06% of members.”

Below is the full wording of the advert. 

The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews)

This is your legacy Mr Corbyn

Under your leadership, Labour is no longer a safe place for all members and supporters, whatever their ethnicity or faith. Thousands have resigned and thousands more feel unable to attend party meetings because of the toxic culture you have allowed to divide our movement. After initially defending the racist mural in East London you admitted being unable to recognise that it was antisemitic because you didn’t look closely enough.

You still haven’t opened your eyes.

After your staff shielded antisemitic conduct from the party’s disciplinary rules, you said: ‘I do not intervene in cases, my office does not intervene in cases.’

You still haven’t told the whole truth.

We are not asking if you are an anti-Semite. We are saying you are accountable as Leader for allowing antisemitism to grow in our party and presiding over the most shaming period in Labour’s history.

You still haven’t accepted your responsibility.

Labour can’t fight racism in society if we can’t deal with racism in our own party. We can’t be a credible alternative government that will bring the country together if we can’t get our own house in order. Your failure to do the right thing will lead to the failure of the Labour Party being able to make our country a better place for the people and communities we seek to serve.

It’s the style of your office and your followers to deny the truth of the message and denounce the messengers, whether they are party members or whistleblowers from Labour’s head office. But we cannot stay silent while younger, braver party workers and members speak out.

You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values.

You have therefore failed the test of leadership.

This statement is supported by the following Labour members of the House of Lords: Irene Adams, Waheed Alli, Kay Andrews, Hilary Armstrong, Joan Bakewell, Tony Berkeley, Clive Brooke, Tom Chandos, Tony Christopher, David Clark, Tony Clarke, Janet Cohen, Christine Crawley, Jack Cunningham, Meghnad Desai, Bernard Donoughue, David Evans, Geoff Filkin, George Foulkes, Llin Golding, Peter Goldsmith, Mary Goudie, Peter Hain, Stephen Hanworth, Simon Haskel, Alan Haworth, Clive Hollick, Bev Hughes, Bob Hughes, Phil Hunt, Bill Jordan, Roy Kennedy, Jonathan Kestenbaum, Denise Kingsmill, Jim Knight, Chris Lennie, Michael Levy, Helen Liddell, Roger Liddle, Spencer Livermore, Hector MacKenzie, Ann Mallalieu, Peter Mandelson, Doreen Massey, John Maxton, Margaret McDonagh, Iain McNicol, Jon Mendelsohn, Sally Morgan, Sue Nye, Martin O’Neill, Tom Pendry, Jill Pitkeathley, Margaret Prosser, Giles Radice, Meta Ramsay, Gail Rebuck, John Reid, George Robertson, Peter Snape, Clive Soley, Glenys Thornton, John Tomlinson, Dave Watts, Alan West, Robert Winston, Tony Young.

More from LabourList