JLM hires Deborah Lipstadt lawyer James Libson in Labour antisemitism case

James Libson, who was part of team that defended Holocaust historian, will represent organisationin in EHRC probe into party's antisemitism


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: US academic Deborah Lipstadt (C) exults 11 April 2000 the High Court in London after winning a libel case brought against her and Penguin publications by British revisionist historian David Irving. Lipstadt had described Irving in her 1994 book as a "Holocaust denier" for his claims that Jews were not systematically exterminated by the Nazis during World War II. (Photo credit should read MARTYN HAYHOW/AFP/Getty Images)

The Jewish Labour Movement has hired James Libson, the lawyer who was part of the team that defended Deborah Lipstadt against David Irving, to represent it in the Equalities and Human Rights Commission's probe into Labour antisemitism.

JLM was one of the bodies that sparked the inquiry - only the second time the EHRC has investigated a party - and 

Mr Libson was part of the Mishcon de Reya team, led by Anthony Julius, who defended Prof Lipstadt when Mr Irving sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier.

Her high-profile victory was turned into a film, Denial, in which Prof Lipstadt was played by Rachel Weiz and Mr Libson was played by Jack Lowden.

Announcing the decision to appoint Mr Libson on Wednesday, JLM urged Jewish Labour members to continue submitting evidence of antisemitism to them, donate to help its legal fight - which it said "will not be cheap" -  and encourage Constituency Labour Parties to publicly back JLM's case.

"The Jewish Labour Movement - affiliated to the Party for 99 years - gathered clear evidence and put its case to EHRC as the Party has time and time again refused to respond to our requests, and those of the community, to put its own house in order," it said.

"We have always said that this is a problem of leadership and culture, as well as policy and process. The EHRC must shine a bright light into the dark recess of the Party and its membership if Labour is able to truly call itself a anti-racist Party again."


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