No, Corbyn Hasn’t U-Turned Over Antisemitism Exaggeration Claims

A Facebook post from Jeremy Corbyn this morning prima facie appears to show a significant backtracking from the former leader over his denial of antisemitism in the party as he attempts to undo his suspension from. In contrast to his defensive statement on the day of the EHRC report, in which he argued

the scale of the [antisemitism] problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents”

his new, less aggressive line is:

“To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated””

Those paying attention will note the carefully calibrated switch in Corbyn’s language from the antisemitism “problem” being overstated to “concerns” about antisemitism not being. Labour’s NEC Panel will meet today at 1 pm to discuss Corbyn’s expulsion, no doubt the NEC’s newly elected left will argue this is enough to justify bring Jeremy back into the fold.

UPDATE: Guido is told that Len McCluskey has brokered a deal, although the moderates on the NEC are resisting. A Labour insider says “Looks like Keir has bottled it. He’ll be in worse position now for letting him back in than if he hadn’t suspended him in first place. Makes him look weak and controlled by Unite.” Truth will out…

The Board of Deputies remains opposed Corbyn’s return following his non apology. Will Len still get his way?

Corbyn’s statement in full:

“Last month, I was suspended from the Labour Party, after 54 years’ membership and four and a half years as party leader.

On the day I was suspended I gave a broadcast interview to clarify what I had said in response to the EHRC report, and I also made a statement to the party to clear up any confusion about what I had meant, as follows:

“The publication of the EHRC report should have been a moment for the Labour Party to come together in a determination to address the shortcomings of the past and work as one to root out antisemitism in our own ranks and wider society. We must never tolerate antisemitism or belittle concerns about it. And that was not my intention in anything I said this week. I regret the pain this issue has caused the Jewish community and would wish to do nothing that would exacerbate or prolong it. To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither “exaggerated” nor “overstated”. The point I wished to make was that the vast majority of Labour Party members were and remain committed anti-racists deeply opposed to antisemitism. I fully support Keir Starmer’s decision to accept all the EHRC recommendations in full and, in accordance with my own lifelong convictions, will do what I can to help the Party move on, united against antisemitism which has been responsible for so many of history’s greatest crimes against humanity.”

I’m grateful to the many thousands of Labour party members, trade unionists, and supporters in Britain and around the world, who have offered their solidarity.

I hope this matter is resolved as quickly as possible, so that the party can work together to root out antisemitism and unite to oppose and defeat this deeply damaging Conservative government.”

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