(JTA) — Labour has decided to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn, the British party’s former leader, as a member after his suspension for allegedly downplaying the party’s anti-Semitism problem.
Five members on the National Executive Committee of Labour decided to reinstate Corbyn after meeting for several hours on Tuesday, Sky News reported. Early reports about the decision did not offer the committee’s reasoning for the move.
The decision came shortly after Corbyn issued a statement apologizing for his reaction to last month’s finding by Britain’s racism watchdog that anti-Semitism was present within Labour’s ranks under Corbyn’s leadership.
His successor, Keir Starmer, suspended Corbyn from the party after he said, “One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”
In a statement on Facebook Tuesday, Corbyn walked back those comments. “To be clear, concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated,’” he wrote. “I regret the pain this issue has caused the Jewish community.”
British Jewish groups, which dismissed Corbyn’s remarks Tuesday, protested his reinstatement, which means he can participate in all party activities.
“The shambolic suspension and readmission of Jeremy Corbyn appears to have been nothing more than a media stunt to blunt the blow of the EHRC’s report last month, which forensically analyzed the hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument we submitted as complainant,” Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism group, said in a statement.