Luciana Berger returns to Labor after leaving anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn | policy news

A former Labor MP who left the party four years ago over Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism has returned.

Luciana Berger, who is Jewish, Withdrew from the party in February 2019saying he could not “remain in a party which today I have come to the unhealthy conclusion of being institutionally anti-Semitic”.

But the labor leader Sir Keir Starmer revealed that Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree from 2010 to 2019, had accepted his invitation to join Labour.

“My test for change was whether those who were rightly shocked by how far we had fallen believe this is their party again,” he tweeted.

“I know we have more to do, but we’re unrecognizable from the party that forced you to leave.”

Sir Keir shared footage of the letter he sent to Berger apologizing to her “again on behalf of the entire party” for the “disgusting” anti-Semitic abuse she received while Mr Corbyn was leader.

He said she was “forced out by intimidation, violence and racism” in a “blemish on Labor history” and invited her back to the party.

Mrs. Berger lost his seat after joining the fledgling Change UK party and later the Liberal Democrats.

In her reply to Sir Keir, Mrs. Berger said: “I look forward to getting back to the party and working with you to continue what you started.

“It’s time to replace this reckless and divisive government and finally make the difference our country so desperately deserves.”

Labor ‘fell into the depths of the abyss’ under Corbyn

Mrs. Berger said she was “satisfied” with the Equality and Human Rights Commission decision to no longer monitor the party because of anti-Semitismbut added: “As you (Sir Keir) rightly said, this is not a time for celebration and there is much more to be done.”

She stated that the party “fell into the depths of the abyss under the reign of Jeremy Corbyn”.

“I never expected to witness the volume and toxicity of anti-Jewish racism embraced by people who were allowed to join Labor and experience a leadership that treated anti-Semitism within party ranks differently from any other kind of racism – and that by refusing to to condemn him, encouraged him,” she said.

“But that’s exactly what happened.”

Sir Keir wrote: “Before you were forced out of the party you were an excellent Member of Parliament.”

He said the party and British politics were “poorer places” without her and apologized to her for the “intolerable and unacceptable” experience she had.

“The abuse you suffered was disgusting. You were left isolated and exposed. Shamefully, those who should have defended you were left standing by.

“The Labor Party – our party – has always prided itself on being a party of equality, collectivism, solidarity and anti-racism.

“But during those dark days we were none of those things.”

Her return was applauded by several in the party hierarchy, including parallel Chancellor Rachel Reeves, who tweeted: “So happy to have you back Luciana.”

Peter Kyle, the party’s spokesman in Northern Ireland, tweeted: “An emotional and healing moment. Labor and Luciana… friends have finally come together. I’m grateful to @Keir_Starmer for making this possible and in awe of the strength and @lucianaberger’s compassion for giving us this precious second chance. The job has changed for the better.”

Margaret Hodge, another Labor critic of Corbyn, said on Twitter: “Welcome back Luciana! You’ve come this far. Labor is proudly an outward-looking, tolerant and inclusive party once again.”

The Jewish Labor Movement added: “Our former parliamentary speaker @lucianaberger is a hero of the Labor Movement. What happened to her under Corbyn’s leadership was a disgrace and she showed immense bravery in the right way.”

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‘Jeremy Corbyn will not be candidate for the Labor Party’

Starmer rules out Corbyn as Labor candidate in next election

Marking the EHRC’s decision to no longer monitor the party for anti-Semitism, Sir Keir ruled out allowing Jeremy Corbyn to stand as a Labor candidate in the next general elections.

The human rights body in 2020 found that the party violated the equality law in dealing with anti-Semitic complaints.

Corbyn rejected some of the report’s conclusions and claimed the issue was “overblown for political reasons” – comments that led to Labor headquarters suspending him from the party.

Mrs. Berger joined the board of online used car retailer Cazoo in August 2021 as chair of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee.

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