Labour antisemitism figures reveal surge in expulsion and suspension of party members

But JLM says party should not get to judge its own processes after 'years of acting in bad faith'


Members of the Jewish community hold a protest against Britain's opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn and anti-semitism in the Labour party, outside the British Houses of Parliament in central London on March 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Jewish Labour Movement has attacked the party's claim that an increase in expulsions and suspensions over antisemitism points towards the party getting a grip on the issue.

Labour announced on Tuesday it had expelled 45 members over antisemitism in 2019 - four times as many as it did in the previous two years, the party has announced.

According to statistics released by the party’s general secretary Jennie Formby, 296 members were suspended over antisemitism complaints in 2019 - compared with 98 suspended in 2018.

A party spokesperson said the increase showed the party was "taking more decisive action than ever before, and more than any other political party, to root out this bigotry and racism".

But JLM said the party should not "judge its own processes" after "years of acting in bad faith and administering a broken system".

It said it was "striking" that the party was releasing regular updates on its antisemitism investigations now it was under investigation over allegations of institutional antisemitism by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The party said that after rule changes passed at its conference in September to speed up disciplinary proceedings, twice the number of people were expelled in two months than the whole of 2018.

In 2018, 10 people were expelled and in 2017, one.

Apart from expulsions, a further 104 members left in 2019 while disciplinary proceedings relating to antisemitism were under way.

Disciplinary panels set up by the party’s national executive committee heard 274 cases relating to antisemitism last year - compared with 80 in 2018 and 28 in 2017.

Overall, the party recorded 773 cases relating to antisemitism in 2019 - compared with 428 in 2018.

Owing to the election, some complaints from last year are still being processed.

No action was taken in 255 cases in 2019 - compared with 133 in 2018.

Of the 773 cases, 296 people were suspended, 283 people received a notice of investigation and a further 184 received reminders about their behaviour.

Another 10 cases were subject to "auto-exclusion or general secretary rejection", meaning they were either ruled out or led to immediate automatic expulsion under party rules.

Labour said that a third of all the cases logged in 2019 have a single individual as the main complainant.

The party said the vast majority of complaints involved “social media activity”.

A Labour spokesperson said: “The reforms made by Jennie Formby as General Secretary have led to a significant increase in suspensions and expulsions.

"And under the new rapid expulsion powers proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, we have expelled twice the number of people for antisemitism in just two months than the whole of 2018.

“We know there is much more work to do and we will continue to publish regular updates on our progress.” 

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