To the Equalities Team
Thank you for your email asking us to complete the Race and Faith manifesto consultation. In normal circumstances, we would be responding in full. However, we are very far from normal times in the Labour Party.
The Party has not demonstrated that it can adequately tackle antisemitism in its ranks; therefore, we feel the most appropriate input to your consultation on race and faith is to point out how the Party could make good its failures. We are submitting nineteen practical steps to do so – the same suggestions we gave in good faith to Jennie Formby in 2018, which still have not been acted on.
This past year has seen our former Parliamentary Chair, Luciana Berger, and our Honorary President, Louise Ellman, hounded out of the party that should be their political home because of a culture of antisemitism. The Party ignored their concerns about the abuse they faced, often from within their own local parties.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the watch-dog set up by a Labour government, is currently investigating our Party for institutional anti-Jewish racism. The Party is still refusing to publish its official submission to the EHRC and share it with its NEC. We ask that the Party does this as soon as possible. Eight whistleblowers bravely spoke out about the culture of political manipulation existing within the complaints and disciplinary system in a Panorama documentary. The Party decided not to listen, instead resorted to smearing them. Just this week, Jeremy Corbyn claimed that all complaints of antisemitism had been investigated. This is blatantly not the case, with at least 130 outstanding cases of which we are aware.
Only when Labour has got its own house in order can it credibly talk about equality once again.
Nineteen Practical Steps
- A clear commitment with a specified timeframe to conclude all outstanding high-profile cases.
- Regular publication of statistics concerning complaints regarding antisemitism at all stages of the disciplinary process, including:
- Number of complaints received
- Number of complaints rejected
- Number of complaints passed to NEC Disputes Panel (stage one)
- Number of complaints investigated
- Number of complaints reported to NEC Disputes Panel (stage two)
- Number of complaints referred to the NCC
- Number of complaints upheld by the NCC
- Implementation of new charges for prejudicing the disciplinary process, such as divulging the details of cases to the media and giving interviews, lobbying of NEC or NCC members.
- An instruction to members of the PLP from the Chief Whip that no MP should engage in any event or share a platform with a suspended/expelled Labour Party member, or those subject to charges brought against them by the NCC.
- A scheme of clear tariffs to be applied by the NCC that are proportionate to the charges pursued by the NEC.
- As with the sexual harassment disputes process, all cases involving antisemitism to be dealt with by panels of the Disputes Panel, who have been appropriately trained in antisemitism awareness.
- Regularising the NCC’s hearing procedure for antisemitism to align with the sexual harassment procedure.
- Mandatory training for NEC members; and for NCC members in antisemitism awareness before hearing cases involving antisemitism.
- A public guarantee of JLM’s status as Labour’s only Jewish affiliate before the conclusion of the democracy review, including a guarantee that socialist society affiliations will continue to be regulated as they are presently.
- CLPs to only be able to affiliate to organisations approved by the NEC (reciprocal affiliations for recognised socialist societies, sister parties and trade union affiliates).
- Appropriate resourcing of JLM to be able to continue to deliver the Labour Party’s training session on antisemitism across the country on the scale envisaged in statements made by members of the NEC and senior frontbenchers.
- A standing place for JLM on the NEC working group on antisemitism.
- JLM antisemitism training to be made mandatory for CLPs.
- Public confirmation that the NEC adopted the full IHRA definition in 2016, including all the examples that can demonstrate how antisemitism takes place in practice.
- Acceptance of the IHRA definition of antisemitism to be listed within the specific requirements for any Labour candidate standing for public office (at any level of government), when completing application paperwork.
- The IHRA definition of antisemitism to be mandatory for all Labour groups to adopt.
- Consistent advice to be given by regional offices to give CLPs to presume against ruling in order hostile motions against JLM, to ensure consistent treatment given to JLM as would be given to any affiliate, including trade unions.
- Closer monitoring of social media groups purporting to speak in Labour/Jeremy Corbyn’s name; and submitting formal requests to shut down open/closed groups that propagate antisemitism.
- A clear understanding of the membership checking system as membership is a privilege not a right.