EXCL Labour MPs warn party at risk of being seen as 'institutionally anti-semitic'

Posted On: 
28th January 2019

Labour is at risk of being seen as "institutionally anti-semitic" unless it does more to tackle Jew hatred in the party, MPs have warned.

Labour has been hit by a series of anti-semitism rows in recent years.
PA Images

The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) will next week debate a motion giving Jeremy Corbyn seven days to set out what he is doing to address the issue.

A motion sent to every PLP member and passed to PoliticsHome says not enough progress has been made since Labour MPs joined Jewish groups outside Parliament to protest against anti-semitism in the party.

Ex-MP Jim Sheridan has Labour party suspension lifted following anti-semitism probe

Labour branch under fire for accusing Israel of funding anti-Semitism campaign

Emily Thornberry says Jeremy Corbyn was too ‘upset’ to tackle Labour anti-Semitism crisis

Chris Williamson forced to apologise for defending musician accused of anti-Semitism

The motion, proposed by Catherine McKinnell MP and seconded by Ruth Smeeth MP, says: "In the months that have followed the PLP is dismayed that there remains such a backlog of anti-semitism cases that are still to be investigated and a decision reached - in particular the high-profile cases that it was promised would be concluded by July 2018.

"The PLP is very concerned by recent reports that a number of cases of alleged anti-semitic activity from high-profile members have been dropped.

"The PLP calls on the party leadership to adequately tackle cases of anti-semitism, as a failure to do so seriously risks anti-semitism in the Party appearing normalised and the Party seeming to be institutionally anti-semitic."

The motion, which will be debated at next Monday's meeting of the PLP, gives the party leadership a week to report back with an update in 11 areas.

They include how many outstanding cases of anti-semitism have still to be investigated, which Jewish community organisations have been consulted on Labour's anti-semitism code of conduct, and what processes the party has put in place to protect MPs targeted for abuse.

A Labour MP told PoliticsHome: "The Labour Party has become a honey pot for anti-semites that are attracted by Labour's inability and unwillingness to deal with rampant anti-semitism engulfing our party.

"The PLP are clear that action much be taken NOW with an explanation for their obfuscation."

But a Labour source said: “It’s a red herring to call on the party leadership to address these questions. The leader is separate from disciplinary processes and has no say in them. 

“The NCC, the only body with the power to expel members, is independent of the Leader, the NEC and the General Secretary, who have no say over its decisions or when it hears cases.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour is committed to tackling anti-semitism in all its forms wherever it arises, in our party and wider society.

“We have significantly sped up and and strengthened our procedures for dealing with complaints about anti-semitism.”