The UK”s main opposition party, Labour, has been slammed over its response to allegations of anti-Semitism within its ranks.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said the party is “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination”.
Labour was plagued by accusations of anti-Semitism during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, who stepped down after losing the last election.
EHRC launched an investigation after complaints from the Campaign Against Antisemitism and the Jewish Labour Movement.
In a report released on Thursday, it said Labour had breached the Equality Act (2010) three times: for harassment; political interference in antisemitism complaints; and failure to provide adequate training to those handling antisemitism complaints.
“The Labour Party made a commitment to zero tolerance for antisemitism,” said Caroline Waters, interim chair of EHRC.
“Our investigation has highlighted multiple areas where its approach and leadership to tackling antisemitism was insufficient. This is inexcusable and appeared to be a result of a lack of willingness to tackle antisemitism rather than an inability to do so.
“It is encouraging to see the Party’s new leadership has committed to implementing our recommendations in full. If the Party truly wants to rebuild trust with its members and the Jewish community, it must acknowledge the impact that numerous investigations and years of failure to tackle antisemitism has had on Jewish people and take swift, sincere action to improve.
“Politicians on all sides have a responsibility to set standards for our public life and to lead the way in challenging racism in all its forms. There have been recent examples of behaviour from politicians of various parties that fall well below the standards we would expect. While freedom of expression is essential to proper political debate, politicians must recognise the power of their language to sow division. Our recommendations provide a foundation for leaders to make sure that they adhere to equality law and demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion through their words and actions.”