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Lord Meghnad Desai quits Labour Party, cites racism

Nov 21, 2020 08:06 IST

London, PTI: Indian-origin economist, author and peer Lord Meghnad Desai has resigned as a member of the UK's Opposition Labour Party over its failure to effectively tackle antisemitic racism within its ranks. The 80-year-old peer said he has only ever been a Labour Party supporter but was forced to take the decision to cancel his membership on Thursday after 49 years after former party leader Jeremy Corbyn was readmitted after just 19 days of suspension despite findings of "unlawful acts" by the country's human rights watchdog. "It was a very peculiar decision to allow him back without any apology. He has been refused the party whip in the House of Commons for a few months, but that is a very lame response to a very big crisis," Lord Desai said. "I have been very uncomfortable and slightly ashamed that the party has been injected with this sort of racism. Jewish MPs were abused openly, and female members were trolled. It is out and out racism," he said. The Labour Party has been plagued by allegations of antisemitism over the years, with its disastrous electoral defeat in the December 2019 election also linked to the crisis.

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