The Board of Deputies has sent Labour a briefing on 11 cases of antisemitism that we believe to be outstanding and are examples of where the Party’s disciplinary process has failed.
The most obvious and prominent example is Pete Willsman, but other members in question include a National Executive Committee member, a councillor, a council candidate, a CLP chair and a branch chair, as well as ordinary members.
While there may be additional antisemitism cases yet to be resolved, we have highlighted these eleven particularly as they are among the most serious we have seen, and would in our view all merit permanent expulsion from the Labour Party.
In compiling this briefing, we have been grateful for the input of online activists Labour Against Antisemitism, who have been tracking a number of these cases.
During the leadership election, Keir Starmer and the other leadership contenders signed up to the Board of Deputies’ Ten Pledges.
Pledge number one was that “all outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale”, while the third Pledge was to ensure transparency on how these cases were being dealt with.
As such, we have asked for an update on each of these urgent cases by the end of May, the resolution of which will signal a significant step towards healing of the Labour Party’s relationship with our community. In some cases, it may be that the cases have already been closed, in which case we would also like to know about the outcome.
Given the mistrust that has existed with the current process, we have been pleased to see Sir Keir moving forward on his commitment (Pledge #2) to make Labour’s disciplinary process independent and we hope to discuss this when we next meet in June.
We were further heartened by Sir Keir’s meeting with the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) yesterday. The seventh of the Ten Pledges was for Labour to reengage the JLM to deliver the Party’s antisemitism training programme and we would hope to see progress on this in due course after the EHRC releases its report.
Whilst Sir Keir has understandably been focused on the Coronavirus crisis, now appears to be the right time to continue the process of getting Labour’s house in order on the antisemitism crisis that plagued the Party under the tenure of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.