Lord Meghnad Desai Resigns From UK Labour Party Citing Racism

Lord Meghnad Desai resigned from UK’s Labour Party, citing its failure to effectively tackle antisemitic racism.

2 min read
File photo of Lord Meghnad Desai.

Indian-origin economist and author Lord Meghnad Desai resigned from UK’s Labour Party, citing its failure to effectively tackle antisemitic racism, news agency PTI reported.

The 80-year-old, who has been a supporter of the party for 49 years, stated that he was forced to take this decision on Thursday, 19 November, after former party leader Jeremy Corbyn was readmitted despite findings of "unlawful acts" by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

“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.”
Lord Meghnad Desai

According to Reuters, Corbyn was suspended from the party in October after it was found that he had downplayed a report by the country’s human rights watchdog on serious failings of his leadership in handling persistent anti-Semitism complaints.

The action was taken by Sir Keir Starmer who had succeeded Corbyn, but less than a month after his suspension, Corbyn was re-admitted to the party on 17 November.

“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,” Desai said, according to PTI.

Denying any plans of joining another political party, Desai added the he didn’t see anything changing in the foreseeable future.

“I have to ultimately live with my conscience. I can't go on being in an antisemitic party," Desai said.

Despite many appeals for him to reconsider, he has sent in his resignation letter to the leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords, Baroness Angela Smith. He will now sit as an independent peer while his application to be part of the Crossbench group of the UK Parliament’s Upper House is underway, reported PTI.

(With inputs from PTI and Reuters.)

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