In a major jolt to the UK’s opposition Labour Party, particularly among the British Indian community, Indian-origin economist, author, and peer Lord Meghnad Desai on Thursday resigned as a member of the Labour party over alleged racism within the party. Lord Desai has stated that, the Labour Party has failed to tackle antisemitic racism within its ranks.
Lord Desai, 80-year-old has been a lifetime member of the Labour Party but decided to resign after 49 years of membership over the readmission of former party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn had been suspended from the party 19 days ago after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found out that the Labour party under Corbyn has broken the law by failing to handle antisemitism or anti-Jewish complaints.
Lord Desai stated that he found it to be a “very peculiar decision to allow him back without any apology”. He described how Jewish Members of Parliament were openly abused and said that he felt ashamed and can no longer stay in a party that accepted this kind of racism.
Ever since the disastrous performance of the Labour Party in the 2019 election under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn in which Labour’s vote share reduced to 32% leaving it with only 202 seats, its lowest since 1935. One of the reasons cited for this heavy loss was the growing antisemitism in the party. After the EHRC findings became public, Corbyn was suspended from the party last month. Lord Desai on being asked by the Labour Party has refused to reconsider his decision and will now sit as an independent peer in the UK’s Parliament Upper House, the House of Lords.