Britain’s Labour party settles out of court with nine antisemitism whistleblowers

The group had sued the party after their personal information was leaked, leading to threats against their safety.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Britain’s Labour party has settled out of court with nine antisemitism whistleblowers who had sued the faction after their personal information was leaked from a report on Jew hatred in the party, the Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported Monday.

The settlement amount is unknown, but the ongoing court case in which Labour was charged with failure to protect their personal data and invasion of privacy was withdrawn Monday.

The nine, all members of Labour Against Antisemitism, had claimed that after their personal details were made public, they suffered brutal attacks online, including “calls to action” from neo-Nazis, the report said.

The plaintiffs had been quoted in an 850-page report to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) that was investigating antisemitism in the party in 2020.

The report was never actually submitted to the watchdog, but its contents were made public that year, soon after Labour’s anti-Israel leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who was accused of fostering the antisemitism, lost his position to Sir Keir Starmer, who vowed to eradicate the phenomenon from the party.

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The nine are only a few of some 380 people who made submissions to the report. The party had told Britain’s High Court last December that it feared that this case could “open the floodgates” to other similar claims, which could cost Labour millions of pounds in damages.

So far, the party is contending with one other case of 21 claimants with a similar complaint of violating data protection rights, and for defamation, the JC reported.

The party has reportedly argued in court that five former staffers, whom it is suing in a separate case, were responsible for the leak and should be held liable instead of Labour.

The EHRC eventually released a 130-page report whose key findings included “specific examples of harassment, discrimination, and political interference” in the disciplinary procedures regarding antisemitism complaints emanating from Corbyn’s staff, among others. This behavior “was indirectly discriminatory and unlawful,” the report said, concluding that the Labour party was legally responsible for it.

Corbyn was temporarily suspended from the party after rejecting the report’s conclusions.

During the 2020 investigation, the Guardian had reported that two Jewish Labour lawmakers – who are not necessarily part of this settlement – had been offered “physical security, guidance against potential cyber-attacks, legal advice and counselling” due to their lead roles in gathering insider evidence for the EHRC from those who contacted them.

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One of the two, MP Peter Mason, told the British paper, “I basically traded that responsibility to Jewish members for my mental health,” he said. “There is this unrelenting pressure in your local party that you are evil, you’re not really Labour, you’re doing a disservice to Labour, because you have the temerity to speak about antisemitism, that continued well beyond the election.”