The Labour leader faced criticism since last week’s Panorama programme, which claimed that senior figures, including Mr Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne and general secretary Jennie Formby, had interfered in anti-Semitism investigations. Labour has denied the claims and written a complaint to the BBC. But Lord Harris of Haringey, chairman of the Labour Peers Group, has since said that Mr Corbyn was “not cut out” to be a party leader.
Now Labour’s governing body has been urged to support a motion which would automatically exclude members where there is “irrefutable evidence” pointing towards racism and other forms of discrimination.
Mr Watson, the party’s deputy leader, was among five members of the National Executive Committee who submitted the motion to the chair of the NEC.
The proposed change, which will be debated at a meeting next Tuesday, calls on the NEC to bring forward forward rule changes to the annual conference.
The motion demanding tougher action on antisemitism said: “Members who express racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic views have no place in the Labour Party.
“We need radical change and fresh thinking in our disciplinary rules to swiftly and fairly root out the evils of racism in our party and restore confidence in our processes.”
The motion also calls on the executive to “bring forward rules changes to this year’s conference that: automatically excludes a member from the party where there is irrefutable evidence of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia or transphobia”.
Meanwhile, more than 60 Labour peers have taken out a newspaper advertisement to accuse party leader Jeremy Corbyn of “failing the test of leadership” amid the ongoing anti-Semitism row.
The full page advert, published in The Guardian on Wednesday, criticises Mr Corbyn for a “toxic culture you have allowed to divide our movement”, saying it has prompted the resignation of “thousands” of members.
The party, it says, is no longer a “safe place” for its members and supporters.
The advert said: ”We are saying you are accountable as Leader for allowing antisemitism to grow in our party and presiding over the most shaming period in Labour’s history.”
The advert is supported by a total of 67 Labour members of the House of Lords, including Peter Hain, Peter Mandelson and Robert Winston, and comes after a damning report by BBC’s Panorama programme into the party’s handling of allegations of anti-Semitism.
The peers also accuse Mr Corbyn of not having “opened (his) eyes” or “accepted responsibility” for the row which has engulfed the party.
The advert said: ”We can’t be a credible alternative government that will bring the country together if we can’t get our own house in order.
“Your failure to do the right thing will lead to the failure of the Labour Party being able to make our country a better place for the people and communities we seek to serve.
“You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values.
“You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”