Dame Louise Ellman tells LBC Starmer should not reinstate party whip to Corbyn

17 November 2020, 21:07 | Updated: 17 November 2020, 21:25

By Maddie Goodfellow

Former Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman, who quit the party over its handling of antis-Semitism, has told LBC Starmer should not reinstate the whip to Corbyn as a "gesture to show his concern".

Dame Louise Ellman, Former Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, told Iain Dale that Jeremy's Corbyn's reinstatement: "Doesn't show a Labour party that's changed its antisemitic culture."

She explained: "It's only a couple of weeks ago that the EHRC found Jeremy Corbyn's leadership responsible for the anti-Jewish racism that had engulfed the Labour Party.

"On the day that report was published, Corbyn chose to contradict the new Labour, Keir Starmer, and today he offered up a statement that was not an apology at all, it felt more like words to get him through the problem.

"And now he's been readmitted, it doesn't look as if the party is changing."

Jeremy Corbyn was allowed back into the party following a meeting of the disputes panel of the ruling National Executive Committee.

He had the whip withdrawn and was suspended from the party last month over his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report which found that Labour had broken the law in its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.

Mr Corbyn had claimed that while "one anti-Semite is one too many" the "scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media".

Dame Louise continued: "He should make a clear apology for his responsibility. Even in his statement, it sounds as if he is apologising, but he really isn't.

"He doesn't actually say he accepts the commission's findings, only the recommendations."

Questioned by Iain over what Keir Starmer should now do, Dame Louise said: "He has repeatedly said that he will eradicate anti-semitism, and he needs to show what he will do about it further.

"He needs to change the culture of the Labour party."

Asked whether Keir Starmer should not reinstate the party whip to Jeremy Corbyn, Dame Louise replied: "I think if he did that, it would be a gesture that shows his concern.

"I don't think Jeremy Corbyn should be ably to resume his duties as a member of the Labour party without issuing an apology."