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Fri, 23 October 2020

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EXCL Labour official whose brother was accused of anti-semitism appointed chair of disputes panel

EXCL Labour official whose brother was accused of anti-semitism appointed chair of disputes panel
2 min read

A Labour official whose brother was suspended for alleged anti-semitism has been elected chair of the party's disputes panel.


Yasmin Dar beat off competition from Jon Lansman and Wendy Nichols, fellow members of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee, to claim the powerful post.

The NEC disputes panel hears membership appeals and re-admission applications, and has the power to conduct hearings and interviews.

Ms Dar's brother Majid, who is a councillor in Manchester, was suspended by the local Labour group last July over posts on social media.

One was a video drawing parallels between Israeli actions and those of the Nazis, while another claimed that Zionism "keeps changing direction like a snake".

At the time, Manchester Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "In the absence of the chief whip, who is on holiday, the group secretary and I met with Majid yesterday to talk about the allegations, where Majid maintained his innocence.

"However, the content [of] some of the posts is in my view anti-semitic, and in at least one case grossly so. On that basis I have suspended Majid from the Labour group until further notice as a neutral act to allow a full investigation to take place."

It is understood that Mr Dar's suspension was lifted following a party investigation.

A senior Labour source also stressed that the NEC disputes panel does not deal with cases of alleged anti-semitism as they are handled by a separate committee.

Writing for the LabourList website last year, Yasmin Dar also criticised the Equality and Human Rights Commission after it launched an investigation into claims of institutional anti-semitism in the party.

She said: "As a member of the National Executive Committee, I haven’t seen any evidence that this prejudice among a minority of members is an institutional problem.

"The Equality and Human Rights Commission has received complaints about racism and Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, and about institutional racism in the Home Office, demonstrated by the Windrush scandal caused by Theresa May’s hostile environment policies.

"Surely the EHRC must launch formal investigations into both, treating all political parties the same, without fear or favour."

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