Labour's ruling body backs Jeremy Corbyn plan to fast-track anti-semitism cases

Posted On: 
24th July 2019

Labour's ruling national executive committee has backed a rule change aimed at speeding up the way anti-semitism cases are dealt with.

Jeremy Corbyn proposed the new measures.
PA Images

Under the plan proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, a special panel will be set up to deal with the worst cases of anti-Jewish racism.

The new body, which would be made up of Labour general secretary Jennie Formby and senior NEC officers, would have the power to expel anti-semitic party members.

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NEC members approved the new measure at a meeting on Tuesday, and it is expected to be formally endorsed at the party's conference in Brighton in September.

Meanwhile, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson withdrew his calls for the party to set up a fully independent complaints process to deal with anti-semitism complaints.

A Labour spokesperson said: "The NEC endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to reform our procedures to allow fast-track expulsions in the most serious cases. 

"This proposal will be further developed so that the NEC can finalise the details of a rule change that is fair and legally robust.

"The vast majority of Labour members are motivated by equality, justice and fairness, and despise anti-semitism. As the data released yesterday shows, anti-semitism complaints relate to a small minority of members, but one anti-semite is one too many.

"The party is taking decisive and robust action against anti-semitism and the rate at which anti-semitism cases are dealt with has increased more than four-fold since Jennie Formby became general secretary."

However, the Jewish Labour Movement has expressed concerns that the new rule will allow supporters of Mr Corbyn to interfere in the disciplinary process.

Chairman Mike Katz said: "We can't have any cofidence in these new proposals. This is just rearranging the deckchairs. 

"The NEC is elected on factional slates on the basis of political patronage. It has an in-built majority for the left which does what the leadership of the Party tells it to.

"We know we can't rely on the NEC to make decisions in the interest of Jewish members. It's  failed for years to guard against factional and political interference."