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Wed, 21 October 2020

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Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate calls on Lords watchdog to block Karie Murphy peerage

Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate calls on Lords watchdog to block Karie Murphy peerage
3 min read

A Parliamentary watchdog has been urged to block a peerage for top Labour aide Karie Murphy until an inquiry into the party's handling of anti-semitism has concluded.


Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate has written to the House of Lords Appointments Commission to raise a string of objections following reports that Ms Murphy, Jeremy Corbyn's chief of staff, is among eight names put forward by the outgoing Labour leader for the upcoming dissolution honours list.

The organisation warns the watchdog - which vets nominations to the upper chamber - that it cannot make an "informed decision" about her fitness for the role until the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has concluded its wide-ranging probe into the party's response to anti-Jewish abuse.

In a letter flagging his "concern at the reported nomination of Karie Murphy" for a peerage, Hope Not Hate CEO Nick Lowles says: "A submission by the Jewish Labour Movement to the EHRC included allegations that complaint processes lacked independence from the Leader’s Office, that staff in the Leader’s Office denied anti-semitism was an issue and that individuals, including Karie Murphy, appointed staff members with a known history of anti-semitism.

"An informed decision as to the ennoblement of Ms Murphy is not possible until such time that the EHRC has fully considered all allegations against her and come to a determination as to her culpability with regard to the issue of antisemitism within the Labour Party."

'FULLY INFORMED'

The also warn allowing her to take up a seat in the House of Lords could go against longstanding 'principles of public life' that all representatives are expected to uphold, including "selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership".

They add: "Hope Not Hate does not seek to pre-empt the findings of the EHRC nor influence the independent evaluation of the Appointments Commission, merely to make clear our view that until a fully informed vetting process can take place, it would be improper to advise the Prime Minister to proceed with the appointment of Karie Murphy."

It follows similar concerns expressed by the Jewish Labour Movement over the suggestion Ms Murphy could be handed a seat in the Lords.

They said: "Given both the specific allegations in our submission relating to the corrupt disciplinary processes and botched handling of anti-semitism within the Labour Party, and the fact the EHRC have yet to conclude its investigation, Ms Murphy’s nomination is deeply inappropriate and must be rescinded immediately.

“Jeremy Corbyn is using his final weeks in office to reward failure.”

But Ms Murphy was defended by Amy Jackson, Mr Corbyn’s former political secretary, who tweeted: “I don’t recognise the monster that Karie Murphy is repeatedly portrayed as.”

She said of Ms Murphy: “She is an absolute hero of the movement, and for once she deserves some recognition.”

The Labour Party has been approached for comment.

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