Dan Jacobs considers the likely reaction to the EHRC report by Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters.
The report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into Labour antisemitism is due to be released to the public within weeks, possibly days.
The report is unlikely to call for the removal of individuals and Jeremy Corbyn himself then is unlikely to be awarded a sanction.
In preparation for the report’s publication, Corbyn, his loyal acolytes and the section of the left that prefers conspiracy to reality, especially with regards to Jews, have been laying the groundwork to discredit the EHRC for months now.
Corbyn himself (always more subtle than his superfans), has cast doubt on the impartiality of the EHRC. His intervention is more than just a whistle-blow to those in his corner who have been calling the independent organisation a Tory-run department.
Conspiratorial left-wing websites such as The Canary and The Skwawkbox, have held long-running campaigns against the EHRC. With articles including claims such as ‘The Canary has found further reasons to be concerned about the impartiality of “the highest level decision-making body” at the EHRC’.
The fact that the EHRC has thus far failed to investigate Tory Islamophobia provides ammunition to those who seek to undermine it. Instead, the EHRC has given the Conservative party itself a chance to remedy the situation. On the surface, there does appear a case to answer, although the EHRC may still act on this issue.
The EHRC is, however, looking into the hostile environment policies at Home Office relating to the Windrush generation, which shows it’s not in the thrall of the government.
Another tool used by many deniers of Labour antisemitism is the leaked report that the Labour party didn’t submit to the EHRC based on advice from its own layers. This report, despite what some on the left might say, proves the extent to which antisemitism has been a problem in the party, and is partisan, written to defend Corbyn and his allies. It contains many breaches of confidential information and tries to position them as attempting to help, not hinder the process, which feeds into Jeremy Corbyn’s own narrative. However, Labour’s own lawyers have said the report is partisan and selective in quoting from emails and WhatsApp messages and overall designed to be ‘misleading’.
There are other criticisms of the organisation. Some are claiming there is a lack of diversity on its governance board. While there may be some merit to these claims, they do not amount to evidence that the investigation has not been impartial.
As the release of the report gets closer, the fight against the report is heating up. Most recently disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson has announced that he is mentioned in the draft EHRC support and is putting together legal funds to defend himself.
This regressive section of the Labour movement will go down kicking and screaming and has rejected the EHRC’s findings before they have been published.
The silver lining is that the people that deny and in some cases perpetuate antisemitism are becoming increasingly marginalised under new Labour leader Keir Starmer with many being expelled, suspended or quitting.
It remains to be seen if Jeremy Corbyn himself will survive the aftermath of the publication of the report still a member of the Labour party.
Dan Jacobs is an admin of Socialists Against Antisemitism, a left-wing group of Jews and allies fighting antisemitism from within the Labour movement.