Labour has become an institutionally racist organisation through its failure to deal with antisemitism, one of its MPs has argued. Chuka Umunna said the party needed to make far greater efforts to tackle the problem.
Asked on Sky News’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday programme whether he believed Labour was now institutionally racist, a term used in the Macpherson report on the Metropolitan police after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Umunna said he did.
He said Labour now clearly fitted “the definition of institutional racism as outlined by Sir William Macpherson in the Macpherson report”.
Umunna said: “It’s very painful for me to say that. Part of the reason that I joined the Labour party, that my family supported the party, was because it was an anti-racist party. I think the failure to deal with the racism that is antisemitism is particular, and clearly is a problem.”
The Streatham MP, one of the leading backbenchers from the party’s centre-left, previously said people with his views were being forced out of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, and he urged the leader to “call off the dogs”.
Those words prompted an angry response from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who branded his choice of words “grotesquely offensive” to party members. “Our party members are not dogs,” he said.
Umunna said calls for mandatory re-selection processes for Labour MPs and no-confidence votes by local parties against members such as Frank Field and Joan Ryan were an attempt to “hound them from office”. Read more