Sixty four Labour House of Lords peers—about a third of Labour’s members in the House of Lords, this week took out an ad in the Guardian they headlined: “The Labour Party welcomes everyone* […] (*except, it seems, Jews).”
The ad accuses Labour chairman Jeremy Corbyn of having “failed the test of leadership” over his handling of anti-Semitism complaints within the party.
The socialist lords addressed Corbyn saying the party was “no longer a safe place for all members” and suggested that thousands have already resigned “because of the toxic culture you have allowed to divide our movement.”
The 64 Labour peers accuse Corbyn of not opening his eyes and taking responsibility for the complaints about anti-Semitism within the party. They also say he does not tell the whole truth about the sheer scale of the problem.
“We are not asking if you are an anti-Semite,” the ad says to Corbyn. “We are saying you are accountable as leader for allowing anti-Semitism to grow in our party and presiding over the most shaming period in Labour’s history.”
The ad continues: “It’s the style of your office and your followers to deny the truth of the message and shoot the messengers, whether they are party members or whistleblowers from Labour’s head office. But we cannot stay silent while younger, braver party workers and members speak out. You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”
Clive Soley, one of the signatories, who used to be the chair of the Labour faction in Parliament, told the Guardian the future of the party is at stake.
“I think the situation is that we either do something now or just watch the Labour party die. It is that tragic,” Soley said. “If you look at it historically, the Liberal party took two general elections to die as an electoral force. This could happen to us. The party is hemorrhaging support dramatically and its very hard to see how we stop that with Jeremy and his group leading the party.”
A spokesman for Labour said Corbyn and the party “stand in solidarity with Jewish people and are fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community.”
On Monday, more than 200 former and current Labour staff called on Corbyn to resign, and four senior Labour peers offered to support an overhauling of Labour’s anti-Semitism complaints procedures, according to the Guardian.
Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson on Tuesday supported a motion to automatically exclude members accused of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia or transphobia.
Take your pick?