'Jeremy Corbyn was warned in advance over EHRC statement'

30 October 2020, 15:50

'Jeremy Corbyn was warned in advance over EHRC statement'
'Jeremy Corbyn was warned in advance over EHRC statement'. Picture: LBC/PA

By Sam Sholli

Jeremy Corbyn was warned in advance about his statement in response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's anti-Semitism report, LabourList Editor Sienna Rodgers has told LBC.

Ms Rodgers told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that she understood Mr Corbyn received the warning from Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner's office.

The exchange comes as a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

Mr Corbyn rejected some of the equality watchdog's findings and claimed the issue had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons" by his critics - a stance that put him at odds with his successor Sir Keir Starmer and led to him having the whip removed on Thursday.

Ms Rodgers told LBC: "Corbyn apparently was warned by Angela Rayner's office that his statement would clash with Starmer's speech [in response to the EHRC report].

"And then he was told once it was released that he had to withdraw or correct or retract in his interview subsequently...and then he didn't do that."

She added: "They knew the content [of the statement in advance] and the Deputy Leader's office, from what I understand, said to him [the] specific line saying the scale of the problem has been "overstated" by political opponents [was] going to be problematic for [him].

"That's what he was told. But he included it in the statement anyway."

Ms Rodgers however did say that, despite disagreement in the Labour Party over whether Mr Corbyn should have been suspended, there is "huge consensus at all levels of the party and across all faction over the [EHRC] report's recommendations".

She said: "Literally everyone agrees that those recommendations need to be implemented swiftly and well..."