David Lammy Apologises for Nominating Corbyn as Labour Leader, Laments Anti-Semitism in Party

David Lammy - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
The former georgraphy teacher, who represented Islington North until 2020, was appointed to the helm of Labour in 2015. Under his brief leadership, the party suffered its worst defeat since the 1930s and has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism, a claim Corbyn and his close allies have vehemently denied.
UK Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has apologised for nominating Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015. Addressing participants of the Limmud festival, aimed at popularising Jewish culture, the official admitted he "never believed" Jeremy Corbyn would head Labour, noting that his nomination was "a mistake".

"I regret nominating Jeremy Corbyn and if I knew what I do now, I never would have nominated him. That was a mistake and I am sorry for that", the shadow foreign secretary said.

David Lammy also touched upon the allegations of anti-Semitism that plagued the party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, with the official saying he was "staggered" when he learned that some members of the Labour Party held such views. At the same time, he emphasised that the party has made progress under Keir Starmer, whom Lammy said he "fully" supports.

"I don't believe the overall culture is toxic any more…but until the party is genuinely welcome for everyone, we remain on a journey", the shadow foreign secretary said.

The news comes amid a recent survey, which showed that the Jewish community in the United Kingdom feels the Labour Party has become a safe space for its members under the new leadership, with 70 percent expressing support for the party, compared to 4 percent who felt the same under Jeremy Corbyn.

Last year, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found Labour to be responsible for "unlawful" acts of harassment and discrimination during Corbyn's four-and-a-half years at the helm as well accused the party of inadequately handling complaints about anti-Semitism.

"The equality body's analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it", read the investigation released by EHRC.

The investigation came several months after Jeremy Corbyn stepped down as Labour leader following a humiliating defeat in the 2019 general election. The party lost 59 seats in parliament, with the Conservative Party winning in traditional Labour strongholds.

Corbyn came under intense criticism following the election, with fellow MPs blaming his leadership for the colossal losses. Accusations of Anti-Semitism as well as Corbyn's staunch opposition to Brexit were widely seen as some of the main reasons for Labour's dismal performance at the polls.

Several Labour MPs, including Mr Corbyn, were accused of anti-Semitism on a number of occasions, a claim the former Labour leader has denied. Nine Labour MPs decided to quit the party over the issue and Jeremy Corbyn himself was stripped of the party whip after he described the findings of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's investigation as "dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party".
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