In Brief: Starmer attacks Corbyn response to EHRC report as Nandy opposes BDS

Sir Keir Starmer. Photo: Chris McAndrew, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into antisemitism in the Labour party was “just about as bad as you can get,” Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday.
Addressing the Jewish Labour Movement conference, which was partnered by LFI, the Labour leader said his predecessor had “undermined me” when he said the scale of the problem investigated by equality watchdog was “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and the media. “I can’t tell you how disappointed how I was with Jeremy Corbyn’s response. Because the words he used, what he said coming from the former leader of the Labour party in response to that report, were just about as bad as you could get,” Starmer said. “Everything that has followed in the last few weeks follows from those words. That has exacerbated the pain and the hurt. And we’re in a position that I did not want to be in.”
In her remarks to the conference, the shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, reaffirmed Labour’s opposition to BDS. “We’re not in favour of boycotts or the BDS movement,” she said. “I’ve always felt that the best way to advance the situation is to take people with you. BDS pushes people away instead of bringing people together.”
Starmer’s deputy, Angela Rayner, also warned the conference that Labour was prepared to take tough action against party members who have passed pro-Corbyn motions at meetings. The party has ordered local parties not to discuss Starmer’s decision to remove the whip from Corbyn. “I feel really, really angry actually that there’s been scenes like that in our CLP meetings,” she said. “If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.”
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