Sources say the move, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR), comes after it received ‘compelling’ evidence of Labour’s failure to deal with anti-Jewish prejudice among its members.
An inquiry lasting up to a year would be a crushing setback to Mr Corbyn’s attempts to draw a line under the affair which has bedevilled his leadership.
Sources say the move, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR), comes after it received ‘compelling’ evidence of Labour’s failure to deal with anti-Jewish prejudice among its members
One close ally said: ‘This will be a real blow to Jeremy and it will go on for months and months. It’s the last thing we need.’
Labour kick out 92-year-old grandmother
A grandmother aged 92 was expelled from Labour after being a member for 71 years because she inadvertently broke party rules.
Margot Packwood signed nomination papers for her daughter Lesley, who stood for the Green Party against a Labour candidate in council elections earlier this month.
Mrs Packwood, of Ipswich, was told in a letter from Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit that she had breached party rules and her membership had been cancelled. ‘The letter was just so rude,’ said her daughter.
Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby has now reinstated her on compassionate grounds.
The prospect of a full-scale inquiry has been hanging over Mr Corbyn since March, when the EHRC called on Labour to respond to its concerns.
The party formally submitted a response to the watchdog last month.
It has been claimed the EHRC was ‘deeply unimpressed’ by the submission in which the party apparently suggested the anti-Semitism problem was down to a ‘small number of individuals’. And deputy leader Tom Watson was angry that he had not been able to see the response before it was sent in.
Sources claimed evidence submitted by the Jewish Labour Movement via its legal team at Mishcon de Reya proved ‘compelling’ to the watchdog.
JLM sources say its lawyers have since been supplied with a further raft of alleged anti-Semitic incidents.
An EHRC investigation would be likely to result in Labour being handed an ‘action plan’ to implement changes in their approach to handling complaints.
An inquiry lasting up to a year would be a crushing setback to Mr Corbyn’s attempts to draw a line under the affair which has bedevilled his leadership
Last night, the party said it had been co-operating with the EHRC, and added: ‘We completely reject any suggestion the party has acted unlawfully.’
A spokesman said: ‘Labour is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations. We are determined to tackle anti-Semitism and root it out of our party.’
An EHRC spokesman said last night it would issue a public statement ‘on whether we will proceed with enforcement action in due course’.