(July 22, 2020 / JNS) The Labour Party in the United Kingdom has agreed to pay substantial damages to seven former employees who sued for defamation after they raised concerns of anti-Semitism in the opposition party.
The whistleblowers—Louise Withers Green, Dan Hogan, Martha Robinson, Michael Creighton, Benjamin Westerman, Kat Buckingham and Samuel Matthews—spoke out last year about rampant anti-Semitism within the party, criticizing its handling of complaints about Jew-hatred in the BBC program “Panorama.”
The seven former members who worked in Labour’s governance and legal unit were accused by the party of having “personal and political axes to grind,” and trying to undermine then-party leader Jeremy Corbyn. He stepped down from his leadership role after Labour suffered a significant loss in the Dec. 12 election, winning just 203 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons—the party’s worst defeat since 1935, while the Conservative Party won 365 seats, their biggest victory since 1987.
“Anti-Semitism has been a stain on the Labour Party in recent years,” said the party in a statement on Wednesday. “If we are to restore the trust of the Jewish community, we must demonstrate a change of leadership.”
Corbyn called the settlement, the amount of which was not disclosed, “a political decision, not a legal one.”
He added that it was “disappointing” as it “risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations” about previous moves to combat Labour’s anti-Semitism.
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