LT24:SKY:BBC:: Labour has suspended Jeremy Corbyn after an inquiry found the party responsible for “unlawful” harassment and discrimination when he was leader.
The UK’s human rights watchdog, in its report on anti-Semitism in the party, also said his office had “politically interfered” in the complaints process.
Afterwards, Mr Corbyn said the scale of anti-Semitism within Labour had been “dramatically overstated”.
Labour then said it was suspending him for a “failure to retract” his remarks.
Mr Corbyn’s successor as leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said the publication the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report had brought “a day of shame” for the party.
He promised to implement its recommendations “as soon as possible in the New Year” and to change Labour’s culture.
The EHRC report found the party responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act:
In a statement, it said: “The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”
The investigation found evidence of 23 instances of “inappropriate involvement” by Mr Corbyn’s office, included staff influencing decisions on suspensions or whether to investigate a claim.
One incident reportedly saw the party leader’s staff advising a complaint Mr Corbyn himself – for allegedly supporting an anti-Semitic mural – should be dismissed.
Current leader Sir Keir Starmer said in his reaction to the report: “And if – after all the pain, all the grief, and all the evidence in this report, there are still those who think there’s no problem with antisemitism in the Labour Party. That it’s all exaggerated, or a factional attack.
“Then, frankly, you are part of the problem too. And you should be nowhere near the Labour Party either.”
Some decisions, said the watchdog, had been made because of “likely press interest rather than any formal criteria”, and the party “adopted a practice of political interference”.
The EHRC said the party’s complaints process was inconsistent and lacking in transparency”, with the email inbox “largely left unmonitored for a number of years” and “no action taken on the majority of complaints forwarded to it”.
The report also said the party was responsible for two cases of unlawful harassment, where anti-Semitic tropes were used and complaints were branded fake or smears.
It named former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and a local councillor, Pam Bromley, but said these were “only the tip of the iceberg”, and a further 18 borderline cases were found.
Mr Livingstone later released a statement, he was “deeply hurt” by the accusations and “fully rejects” them, calling himself a “life-long anti-racist”.
A party spokesman said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
Responding to the watchdog’s report, Mr Corbyn said he was “always determined to eliminate all forms of racism” and “regretted it took longer to deliver that change than it should”.
But he claimed his team had “acted to speed up, not hinder the process”, and that the scale of anti-Semitism in the party had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
But Labour said: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.
“He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”