The Labour Party has settled a defamation case in the High Court brought by seven whistleblowers who featured in BBC Panorama’s programme titled “Is Labour Antisemitic?” as well as the journalist behind the programme, John Ware.
The Labour Party have agreed to pay “substantial damages” to seven former employees and has apologised in the Hight Court to a group of antisemitism whistleblowers.
Labour has accepted that press statements against them in 2019 were in fact “defamatory and false,” after they spoke out in a BBC Panorama programme last year.
In response, Jeremy Corbyn issued a statement on Facebook, “Labour Party members have a right to accountability and transparency of decisions taken in their name, and an effective commitment from the party to combat antisemitism and racism in all their forms.
“The Party’s decision to apologise today and make substantial payments to former staff who sued the party in relation to last year’s Panorama programme is a political decision, not a legal one.
“Our legal advice was that the party had a strong defence, and the evidence in the leaked Labour report that is now the subject of an NEC inquiry led by Martin Forde QC strengthened concerns about the role played by some of those who took part in the programme.
“The decision to settle these claims in this way is disappointing, and risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations about action taken to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party in recent years.
“To give our members the answers and justice they deserve, the inquiry led by Martin Forde must now fully address the evidence the internal report uncovered of racism, sexism, factionalism and obstruction of Labour’s 2017 General Election campaign.”
Corbyn’s statement has created uproar among the Jewish community as he “bullied” the whistleblowers for “standing up to Jew-hatred,” says the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA)
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of the CAA said, “From the backbenches, Jeremy Corbyn continues to spread conspiracy theories to cover up how the Labour Party became institutionally racist under his leadership.
“A few weeks ago he gaslit the Jewish community by claiming that the EHRC, in whose investigation we are the complainant, is ‘part of the government machine’.
“Now he is gaslighting the whistleblowers he bullied for standing up to Jew-hatred. We have been calling for Mr Corbyn to be disciplined since 2016.
“We are again calling on Sir Keir Starmer to suspend Mr Corbyn now and open a disciplinary investigation.”
The Labour party will also pay damages to journalist John Ware who presented the BBC’s Panorama investigation, as he was falsely accused of “deliberate and malicious misrepresentations designed to mislead the public.”