An investigation into a leaked Labour document which made explosive allegations about the party’s handling of anti-Semitism claims is aiming for a swift conclusion, Labour has said.
On Thursday, a meeting of Labour’s ruling body set out a timescale, with the investigation aiming to conclude in July, and drew up its terms of reference. The inquiry will look into the leaking of the 860-page report that reignited divisions as new leader Sir Keir Starmer tries to unite the party.
The report claimed anti-Jeremy Corbyn sentiment among Labour staff hindered efforts to tackle the issue within the party. Critics of the report, some of whom are on the right of the party, say it was leaked in an attempt to “smear whistleblowers” who had exposed antisemitism.
The meeting will be closely scrutinised because it is the first held by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) under Starmer, whose supporters could push through structural changes to the party.
Starmer promised an independent inquiry into the contents of the report and how it was leaked after it became public over the Easter weekend.
It is understood that the NEC agreed that the investigation should strive to deliver its report by mid-July. The terms of reference are expected to be published soon.
Momentum, the grassroots organisation set up to support Corbyn which has several supporters among NEC members, said Starmer had told the meeting that disciplinary action could be brought against people named in the report who had broken the rules.
“We welcome Keir Starmer’s commitment to disciplinary action,” a Momentum spokesperson said. “Ordinary members would rightly face disciplinary action if they engaged in such activity, senior staff members should be held to even higher standards.”
A Labour party spokesperson said: “The National Executive Committee has today agreed the terms of reference for the independent investigation into the circumstances, contents and release of an internal report.
“The NEC will meet again in due course to agree the individuals who will be appointed to lead the investigation.”