Labour Party could be ‘bankrupted’ by multi-million pound lawsuits over a leaked antisemitism report
- Sources close to whistleblowers and complainants whose identities were revealed by the leak say Labour could face a legal bill as high as £8million
- An 860-page internal report into its handling of antisemitism complaints under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was leaked
- The document was originally meant for submission to the ongoing equalities watchdog inquiry into anti-Jewish sentiment in the party
Labour faces multi-millionpound lawsuits over a leaked antisemitism report that could ‘bankrupt’ the party.
Sources close to whistleblowers and complainants whose identities were revealed by the leak say Labour could face a legal bill as high as £8million – effectively putting it out of business.
They say more than 30 individuals, including general secretary Jennie Formby, may sue the party over breach of privacy and for putting their safety at risk.
The dire warning came as Labour officials were hastily forced to delete addresses from party membership databases to protect some people now apparently receiving death threats after their identities were made public.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer faces the first challenge as antisemitism row continues
Labour was plunged into vicious infighting last week, overshadowing the arrival of new leader Sir Keir Starmer, after an 860-page internal report into its handling of antisemitism complaints under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was leaked.
Corbyn loyalists angrily claimed the document laid bare how ‘Blairites’ at the party’s HQ had actively worked against him and stopped Labour winning the 2017 General Election.
Moderates hit back by insisting the document, originally meant for submission to the ongoing equalities watchdog inquiry into anti-Jewish sentiment in the party, was leaked by ‘die-hard Corbynites’ in a desperate bid to distract from the ‘disgraceful’ mishandling of antisemitism complaints.
Senior Labour sources already fear the party will face a heavy fine over the leak from the Information Commissioner.
But yesterday, sources close to those identified by the leak said: ‘The compensation and legal bill could be enormous, from £3million to £8million. It partly depends how Sir Keir, who has to clean up his mess, reacts.’
Lawyer Mark Lewis of law firm Patron Law, who is representing 20 of the people affected, said: ‘If this bankrupts the Labour Party or individuals, so be it. Actions have consequences. ‘There are lots and lots of claims.
Britain’s opposition Labour Party then Spokesperson for Exiting the EU, Keir Starmer (L) is congratulated following his speech by then party leader Jeremy Corbyn (R)
‘There are claims under the Data Protection Act, there are claims for breach of confidence or invasion of privacy and there are claims for libel.’
He likened the report to scorched-earth tactics by Corbynites, saying it was like ‘soldiers leaving a barracks that they have to desert and setting it on fire’.
The threat of massive legal bills has sparked panic among senior party figures that they could be personally liable.
One MP said: ‘That sort of legal bill would just bankrupt the party. In a sign of Labour’s nerves, Ms Formby warned party members that anyone sharing the report ‘on an unauthorised basis will be immediately exposing themselves to potential significant civil and criminal liability’.
Sir Keir has ordered an inquiry into the report, but Labour declined to comment further last night.