Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Senior Labour Lawmaker Quits Over Inaction On Anti-Semitism

(JTA) — A senior lawmaker for Britain’s Labour Party who was facing sexual harassment allegations has quit the party, citing its anti-Semitism problem.

Ivan Lewis , who is Jewish, resigned on Thursday from Labour, where he had served as chief whip — a post whose duties include enforcing coalition discipline in votes in the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament.

In his resignation announcement, Lewis accused party leader Jeremy Corbyn of being “unwilling to condemn those whose hatred of Israel becomes Jewish hatred” and complaining that the disciplinary process against him was “subject to political manipulation.”

Lewis said he would continue to sit in parliament as an independent, The Guardian reported, but his decision to quit means that the long-running Labour Party disciplinary process following allegations of sexual harassment can no longer be concluded. Lewis denies the allegations.

In his letter of resignation to Corbyn, Lewis wrote that others will “determine whether you are anti-Semitic,” going on to accuse the Labour leader and his director of communications, Seumas Milne, of not believing “in the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their own state.”

Several prominent Labour politicians have resigned over Labour’s spiraling anti-Semitism problem since 2015. That year, Corbyn, a far-left politician who has called Hezbollah and Hamas his friends, was elected party leader. His accusers say he has encouraged or tolerated a culture of anti-Semitism within Labour, though Corbyn has denied this and vowed to kick out anyone caught engaging in hate speech.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.