Exclusive: ‘Don’t be Corbyn’, Labour antisemitism training says

All Labour MPs, councillors, officials and candidates to undergo new mandatory course


The notorious mural defended by Jeremy Corbyn in 2012 is at the heart of a party-wide antisemitism training programme being run by the new Labour leadership, the JC can reveal.

The image of hook-nosed bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the oppressed is presented as a symbol of antisemitism.

It is one of 44 PowerPoint slides in the mandatory course being delivered to all Labour MPs, councillors, officials and candidates.

In a further sign of Sir Keir’s attempt to change the culture of the party, former Labour MP Ruth Smeeth — who was left traumatised by the antisemitic abuse she faced during the Corbyn era — is helping deliver the course.

Writing exclusively for the JC this week, Ms Smeeth says: “We’re under no illusions. Rooting out the toxic culture will not be a quick job. We know it will take time. But by using education, a proper disciplinary process and leadership from Keir Starmer, progress is being made.”

Mr Corbyn has repeatedly defended his 2012 Facebook post approving of the now-erased mural. Painted near Brick Lane in London’s East End, it was widely described as antisemitic.

A Labour source said: “Whereas Corbyn defended this image, course facilitators are using it as a potent illustration of antisemitism.”

The 44 slides obtained by this newspaper and revealed in full at, begin by looking at survey data on racial prejudice, antisemitic violence and other incidents, and a history of Britain’s Jews.

They continue with examples of antisemitic tropes such as the blood libel, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and illustrations from the Nazi era.

The course also tackles contemporary examples head-on, including the widely-shared image of a monster, branded with a Star of David, on the face of the Statue of Liberty, and tweets accusing Jewish Labour MPs of representing Israel.

One slide depicts an image of Mr Starmer with a slogan asking: “What can Keir buy with his bag of shekels?” Another says Labour members should not use “Zionism” or “Zio” as abuse.

The course also includes a section on the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which states that it is antisemitic to say Israel has no right to exist, or to compare it to Nazi Germany.

Mr Corbyn’s supporters attempted to prevent the party from accepting the IHRA definition when he was in power.

The course, devised and delivered by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) in consultation with the Community Security Trust (CST) and the party’s national office, has emerged as part of Labour’s “Action Plan” in response to last year’s bombshell investigation into Labour antisemitism by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The plan included a requirement for antisemitism training for staff and those in “positions of responsibility” in the party.

The course, which usually lasts two hours, has been undertaken by almost every Labour MP, including, party sources say, leading hard-left parliamentarians close to Mr Corbyn, who was suspended from the Labour whip last year.

It has also been rolled out to every member of Labour’s National Executive; its National Constitutional Committee, the body responsible for discipline; hundreds of party and parliamentary staffers; the LGBT+ Labour Committee; and Labour councillors and candidates in major cities such as Liverpool and Birmingham, where council whips have been told to make clear that the training is “mandatory”.

When the course was first proposed, as the JC reported last June, hundreds of party members revolted, issuing posts condemning it on party social media groups that were peppered with foul language, conspiracy theories and antisemitism. Some claimed it was a “propaganda tool” inspired by Israel.

Campaign group Labour Against Antisemitism (LAA) said that the reaction higlighted the size of the challenge faced by Sir Keir, and that they feared the course would become a mere “box ticking exercise” which would make no real difference.

That fear, a Labour source said, has so far proven misplaced.

“After going on this course, members can no longer plead ignorance, claiming, for example, that they didn’t know that saying that Israel has no right to exist breaches IHRA,” the source said. “It means that antisemites have nowhere to hide. And from now on, it’s going to be one strike or you’re out. No excuses.”

The JLM, which has 4,000 members, affiliated to the party in 1901. It tried to deliver an earlier version of the course while Mr Corbyn was leader, but was banned from doing so.

Another course facilitator is JLM chair Mike Katz. He said: “We’ve come a long way from our time under Corbyn when Labour stopped us delivering our own training programme at conference.”

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