In 2015, British MP Jeremy Corbyn became the leader of the UK's Labour Party. Media and his many followers praised him as an authentic politician and leader who is honest, moral and a straight-shooter. However, by 2019, Corbyn stepped down as Labour leader; by 2020, he was ejected from the party.
Corbyn is the subject of "The Labour Files", a four-part Al Jazeera documentary that uncovers how his apparent "fall from grace" came about. Thanks to recently leaked internal Labour Party emails, documents, social media messages and more, it seems that a cabal of senior officials within the UK Labour Party conspired to bring about his downfall.
Episode 1, "The Purge", outlines in detail how members of Corbyn's party begin an orchestrated campaign to undermine his leadership. A "purge" of many party members who support Corbyn takes place. They are either harassed, accused of Antisemitism, and more. Many are either removed from their leadership roles or outright suspended from the party. This "schism" in the Labour Party stems from the conflict between left and right-leaning factions. Corbyn is a Leftist, and the left has the support of most people or regular Labour members. However, the right holds the power behind the party, sitting in the top positions.
Episodes 2, "The Crisis", and 3 - "The Hierarchy", take us behind the scenes of the so-called "crisis of Antisemitism" that supposedly plagued the Labour Party under ex-head Jeremy Corbyn. In the years leading up to the 2019 General Elections, there was a relentless offensive against Corbyn, claiming he was not fit to lead the party and that he was anti-Semitic and tolerated this kind of behaviour within the party.
This is why he lost the 2019 elections and stepped down as Labour Party leader. Based on the leaked documents, this was because Corbyn was highly critical of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, leading to further discussions on just because one is critical of the Israeli state/government policies and occupation, this does not mean one is anti-Semitic. The series goes on to expose the inherent racist culture of the Labour Party against its own Black, Asian and Muslim members, effectively disregarding due democratic process.
Finally, episode 4, "The Spying Game", exposes how Labour Party leaders effectively spied on their members, specifically those who openly criticized or questioned the party, using hacked data.
The class war within the Labour Party is an example of what's currently happening within many democracies, not just in the UK but worldwide. Deception, manipulation, division and other unethical practices are now seemingly the norm. The Labour Party, of course, has denied all allegations presented on the program, declaring that they are "a rules-based organization who have always acted in compliance with the law, party rules, their job descriptions and proper standards of proportionality."
Directed by: Phil Rees