Eight Labour MPs vote against internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism

Posted On: 
5th September 2018

Eight Labour MPs have voted against the internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism, despite the party's ruling body backing it.

Labour has been dogged by an anti-Semitism row all summer.
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A ballot was held on whether the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines, alongwith all of its examples, should be incorporated into the rule book of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

The overwhelming majority - 205 - backed the move, but eight voted against it. A further 12 spoiled their ballot paper.

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It is not known who the MPs were who voted to reject the IHRA definition, which was finally adopted by Labour's National Executive Committee on Tuesday.

That followed a summer-long row over the NEC's initial decision not to accept some of the 11 illustrative examples amid fears they could stifle legitimate criticism of Israel.

A fresh battle then broke out after it emerged that, at the NEC meeting, Jeremy Corbyn had made an attempt to give Labour members the freedom to call the creation of Israel "racist".

At Prime Minister's Questions, Theresa May said: "He’s trying to change his party so anti-Semites can call the creation of Israel racist and he should be ashamed of himself.”

But Mr Corbyn hit back: "There is no place for racism of any form in our society – on that we are all agreed and we should tackle it wherever it arises in our own parties as well, and that includes the Conservative party."