“To move forward as a true party of equality and social justice we need to properly address our failings, particularly those which have been driven by political motivations.”
By Ian Lavery
This week the long awaited Forde Report was released that investigated the intense factionalism within the Labour Party predominantly during the period when the party was led by Jeremy Corbyn.
The report concluded a number of eye-opening and at times uncomfortable truths for the Labour Party during this period. In particular highlighting the weaponization of Anti-Semitism, accusations of racist abuse and politically motivated campaigns of ‘trot-hunting’ against left wing activists and party staff.
The widespread issue of racism in a number of forms is extremely concerning, and the conclusion that ‘the party was in effect operating a hierarchy of racism’ is staggering and merits further investigation.
To move forward as a true party of equality and social justice we need to properly address our failings, particularly those which have been driven by political motivations, if we are to genuinely rebuild trust in the country.
The report also confirmed long held suspicions that efforts were made to divert funding away from key marginal seats towards candidates at odds with the aims and objectives of the leadership under Jeremy Corbyn which could have affected the result of the election in 2017 – a result that left Labour on a knife edge of taking power.
The publication of this report was much needed and a proper reflection on its contents and recommendations are needed if the party is to fully heal from what was undoubtedly an extremely damaging period for its internal relations.
Despite this, some comments from LOTO and members of the NEC have been extremely disappointing and suggest that some would like to brush the report aside and move on as though nothing happened – perhaps because some of the findings within it ask uncomfortable questions of themselves and their actions while Corbyn was leader of the party.
If the Labour Party wants to heal so we can move forward in the future and become a party of government then we need to take what this report says seriously. This must include accepting all the reports recommendations and acting upon them, rehabilitating members of the party who fell victim to the ‘bellringing’ and ‘trot-hunting’ and returning the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.