Britain’s Labour Party is slated to issue a formal apology to a group of whistleblowers who accused the party under the leadership of former chairman Jeremy Corbyn of systemically interfering with efforts to address anti-Semitism, according to a Thursday report.
Seven of the eight whistleblowers whose testimony served as the backbone of a BBC Panorama documentary on the issue went on to sue the party for defamation. While the sides have yet to reach a final settlement, The Guardian reported that an agreement is imminent and will include a formal apology to be read out in court.
The development has angered allies of Corbyn, who are accusing new Labour leader Keir Starmer of capitulating, the report said.
The Labour Party condemned the BBC documentary after it aired last July, saying it contained “deliberate and malicious representations.” And it alleged that the former staffers who took part had “personal and political axes to grind.”
Corbyn, who was replaced by Starmer earlier this year, said at the time that the BBC documentary had “many, many inaccuracies” and the producers had adopted a “premeditated position” prior to the broadcast.
In their lawsuit, the whistleblowers claimed that senior party members had issued statements attacking their reputations and saying they had political and personal motives to undermine Labour.
The party declined to respond to the Thursday report.
According to The Guardian, the party’s legal advisers during Corbyn’s tenure had recommended against settling due to the belief that it could win the case.
Accusations of hostility toward Jews have riven Labour since Corbyn, a longtime supporter of the Palestinians, became party leader in 2015.
Since taking over Labour, Starmer has vowed to root out anti-Semitism from the party, though some Jewish groups have said he was failing to crack down on it.