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A Labour spokesperson said the party rejected any suggestion that it acted unlawfully and would cooperate fully with the commission.
Britain’s opposition Labour Party must explain allegations of anti-Semitism that have been lodged against it, the country’s equality watchdog said Thursday. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it wanted to hear from Labour before deciding whether to launch a formal investigation.
Labour has faced accusations of anti-Semitism for over two years. Last week, Labour suspended a lawmaker who is close to party leader Jeremy Corbyn and said it would investigate his conduct after remarks he made over the party’s handling of anti-Semitism accusations.
“Having received a number of complaints regarding anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, we believe the Labour Party may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs,” the commission said in a statement.
“Our concerns are sufficient for us to consider using our statutory enforcement powers ... we are now engaging with the Labour Party to give them an opportunity to respond.”
A Labour spokesperson said the party rejected any suggestion that it acted unlawfully and would cooperate fully with the commission, which upholds Britain’s equality laws.
The party will have 14 days to respond to the concerns once EHRC's formal letter is received by Labour.
"Labour is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations. Anti-Semitism complaints received since April 2018 relate to about 0.1% of our membership, but one anti-Semite in our party is one too many. We are determined to tackle anti-Semitism and root it out of our party," a Labour spokesman said.