Jeremy Corbyn has been told by Labour’s chief whip to apologise “unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation” for his reaction to a damning antisemitism report.
The ex-Labour leader, who was last month suspended from the party and still cannot officially sit in the House of Commons as a Labour MP, has also been asked to delete or edit a controversial Facebook post.
And he has been urged to assure the party he will “co-operate fully” with the recommendations of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, which condemned Labour’s handling of antisemitism cases under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown, who administers party discipline among MPs, made the demands in a strongly-worded letter to Mr Corbyn.
It comes days after the Islington North MP was informed by the current Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, that he will not have the party’s whip restored.
This was despite Mr Corbyn’s suspension as a party member having been lifted by a disciplinary panel.
Mr Corbyn was initially suspended from Labour last month following his comments on Facebook on the day of publication of the EHRC report.
In a Facebook post, which remains on Mr Corbyn’s page, the ex-Labour leader claimed the “scale of the problem” of antisemitism in Labour was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”.
He also said he did not accept all of the EHRC’s findings.
Mr Brown, in his letter urging Mr Corbyn to edit or delete the Facebook post, said the remarks had “caused significant distress to many, in particular Jewish members of the Labour Party and the wider Jewish community”.
The chief whip also highlighted reports that the Labour disputes panel, which lifted Mr Corbyn’s suspension, had asked him to remove or edit the Facebook post.
Mr Brown asked Mr Corbyn to consider a fulsome apology for the comments, to confirm he “will be complying immediately” with the request of the panel, and to “give me an assurance that you will cooperate fully with the Labour Party as it seeks to implement the recommendations set out in the EHRC report”.
The chief whip said these requests would “inform the investigation” into a possible breach of Labour’s code of conduct, following the “precautionary suspension” of the Labour whip from Mr Corbyn.
Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown recently told Sky News that Mr Corbyn needed to make a “full apology” in order to be readmitted as a Labour MP.
Last week, the day before his suspension as a party member was lifted, Mr Corbyn sought to clarify his remarks from the day of the publication of the EHRC report.
He said that “concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated'” and said he would “fully support Keir Starmer’s decision to accept all the EHRC recommendations in full”.
However, Mr Corbyn’s clarifying statement did not offer an apology for, or retraction of, his previous comments.
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