Concern over Jackie Walker’s Holocaust comments


There have been renewed calls for Labour to suspend Jackie Walker, a controversial party activist, after she heckled delegates at a training session aimed at stopping the spread of antisemitism.

In Monday’s session at the party conference in Liverpool, Ms Walker criticised Holocaust Memorial Day, claiming it should remember genocides other than the Shoah.

She was told that the annual memorial did recognise other episodes of mass murder, but Ms Walker, the vice-chair of the hard-left Momentum group, went on to claim she had not seen a definition of Jew-hate which she could “work with”.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "Whilst Holocaust Memorial Day rightly and proudly commemorates the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, one has to wonder why Ms Walker takes issue with commemorating the mass extermination of Jews in its own right.

"The deliberate use of term 'holocausts' - plural - undermines and belittles the distinct nature of the tragedy itself, ignores that genocides are the result of diverse and unique factors, and also deprives the Jewish community of their collective memory."

Ms Walker – an ally of Jeremy Corbyn – was suspended and investigated by the party earlier this year for claiming Jews were responsible for the slave trade and an “African holocaust”.

The JC understands her conduct was discussed by members of the Jewish Labour Movement during a meeting with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell on Tuesday. The party is believed to be considering taking action against Ms Walker later today.
At Monday’s fringe session, run by JLM member Mike Katz to advise Labour members on ways to tackle Jew-hatred, Ms Walker claimed security for Jewish school children in Britain was not due to the threat of antisemitic attacks.

She told delegates: “I was a bit concerned... at your suggestions that the Jewish community is under such threat that they have to use security in all its buildings.

“I have a grandson, he is a year old. There is security in his nursery and every school has security now. It’s not because I’m frightened or his parents are frightened that he is going to be attacked.”

She claimed her comments were “not objectionable”.

Ms Walker was a leading figure at Momentum’s The World Transformed conference, outside the main Labour conference.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive