JTA — Three Jewish lawmakers who left the UK Labour Party over its anti-Semitism problem under Jeremy Corbyn said they are rejoining the party because its new leader, Keir Starmer, has spoken out on the issue.
David Triesman, the ex-chairman of the Football Association, quit the party in July 2019, along with Leslie Turnberg, a former president of the Royal College of Physicians. Parry Mitchell left in 2016, saying that as “a Jew and a Zionist” he cannot stay under Corbyn, a far-left anti-Israel campaigner, The Jewish Chronicle of London reported Friday.
“The Labour Party has in the past said it was dealing with anti-Semitism but did almost nothing,” Triesman told the Chronicle. “It was vital to see strong, practical action and with Keir we have seen just that. It’s the moment when being Jewish and Labour have been truly reconciled by active leadership.”
The three lawmakers serve in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament. They stayed on as independents after leaving Labour.
Starmer, who became party leader in April after Corbyn stepped down, has taken a firm approach to an issue that many observers, including Starmer, believe Corbyn had let fester until it poisoned the party.
On Friday, Starmer touched on the issue during a talk with members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
“It will take time to rebuild trust between the Jewish community and the Labour Party,” Starmer said. But, he added, “We are beginning to wash clean the stain of anti-Semitism from our party.”