Labour MPs call for Oxford University anti-Semitism probe to be re-opened

Posted On: 
23rd January 2017

Angry Labour MPs tonight called on the party to re-open a probe into alleged anti-Semitism by two students at Oxford University.

Labour has been dogged by anti-Semitism rows over the past year.
PA Images

It emerged last week that the party's national executive committee had decided that no action was being taken against the pair, both members of the university's Labour Club.

That was despite party bosses ruling that the students should be given a warning for their behaviour.

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Labour peer Baroness Royall - whose own probe into the affair found there had been incidents of anti-Semitism by members of the club - led the condemnation of the decision.

At a meeting of the parliamentary Labour party tonight, MPs Ian Austin, Ruth Smeeth and John Mann also hit out at the NEC's ruling.

Mr Austin said: "Last week's decision resulted in fury in the Jewish community and has been criticised by the Chief Rabbi, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Labour Movement and the all-party group on anti-Semitism.

"There was a poll last year that showed that the Labour party now has the support of 8% of the Jewish community - a party that can only rely on the support of 8% of any community doesn't deserve the support of anybody else. This has to be looked at again."

Mr Mann, who is chair of the all-party group, said: "This decision brought shame on the Labour party."

Labour general secretary Iain McNicol said MPs concerned about the decision should take it up with NEC members.

Speaking last week, Jeremy Newmark, chair of Jewish Labour Movement, told the Jewish News: “This decision rides roughshod over the concerns and experiences of our student members.

“They do not feel comfortable attending meetings of their own Labour club. This has been looked at by three inquiries and one investigation.

“The complainants have not heard from the party for nearly a year – even to inform them of this decision."