Lord Falconer was finalising the terms of a root-and-branch review of Labour’s process for dealing with alleged anti-Semites in the party. Labour chiefs had hoped an investigation led by him would finally allow the party to overcome its anti-Semitism problems.
But he has now decided to put it on hold until the equalities watchdog has decided whether to launch its own investigation.
In a bombshell development on Thursday the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) demanded the Labour party hands over documents and said it could launch a full-scale investigation into whether it had “unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and beliefs”.
Lord Falconer told Jewish News there was “no point” in him conducting a parallel investigation.
He said: “In light of the commission coming in, I think we’ve got to put it on hold, see what the Commission is going to do.
"If they are minded to do an investigation, they will have a range of statutory powers to get documents, emails, Whatsapp messages and witnesses, and they will do an investigation that will be completely independent from the Labour Party.
“So there is no point in me, with my firm of solicitors, coming in and doing exactly the same thing because it won’t carry the same degree of statutory support as the commission has.”
Speaking in Dundee yesterday Mr Corbyn said: “We will root out anti-semitism in our party and our society at large and I’m utterly determined to achieve that.”
But yesterday the party was hit with fresh controversy after it emerged that an activist had been readmitted to the party despite referring to “Zionist criminals”.
Marlene Ellis also claimed Zionists were “involved” with Nazis and accused Labour of “seeking to curry favour with the pro-Zionist lobby in and beyond the media” after suspending the former London Mayor Ken Livingstone over his claim that Hitler was a Zionist.
The Evening Standard revealed yesterday that she had been allowed to rejoin the Streatham branch of the Labour party.
Meanwhile the chairman of Labour peers sent Mr Corbyn a damning letter accusing him of a “political failure of leadership” over the “humiliating” anti-Semitism crisis.
Toby Harris also said the EHRC probe was “nothing short of humiliating and a matter of great shame”.
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