James O'Brien challenges caller who defends Corbyn over Labour's anti-Semitism

29 October 2020, 12:56

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien repeatedly questioned why this caller was defending Jeremy Corbyn after a major report found the Labour Party had committed acts of anti-Semitism.

The Labour party has been found to have committed unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination towards Jewish people, a major report into the anti-Semitism scandal found today.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its report into the party's disciplinary processes and response to complaints.

It comes after years of complaints over how allegations of anti-Semitism were dealt with under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

Caller Naomi, who is part of organisation Jewish Voice for Labour, accused James of having "the pitchforks out" for Mr Corbyn today, to which he responded that the damning report of how Labour conducted itself while under his leadership was out today.

She claimed he was "under attack from all sides."

James pushed her to answer the question: "How did the Labour Party end up in such a mess?"

"The Labour Party ended up in this mess because it had extraordinarily dysfunctional processes for dealing with complaints of any kind," she said.

"One of the problems that the report highlights is the fact that because the complaints procedure was so dysfunctional, for two years until Jeremy Corbyn replaced Iain McNicol with Jennie Formby," she said.

James pointed out that the latest tweet from Jewish Voice for Labour was from Jeremy Corbyn's son, claiming the former leader's innocence.

"You're representing an organisation that made its mind up before the report even published," James said.

The caller said she knows what's true and not true about Jeremy Corbyn - so James asked again how political interference played a part in anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, as the report shows.

She defended Jeremy Corbyn, saying that he was victim to a lot of "interference" within the party.

"I'm not interested in the terrible campaign against Jeremy Corbyn," said James, "how did the Labour Party end up hosting political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, failing to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints and presiding over harassment of members?"

"Because it has a completely dysfunctional view of how you deal with such things," Naomi said.

"And who was leader for the last five years?" James pointed out.

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