Labour MP says 'misery' over antisemitism 'cannot continue' after MPs pass another motion demanding action

Ruth Smeeth: 'Again the PLP has unanimously spoken on how the leadership needs to tackle anti-Jewish hate in our ranks'


Labour’s Ruth Smeeth has said the “current misery” over antisemitism within the party’s ranks “cannot continue” after MPs unanimously passed a motion demanding action by the leadership to tackle the long-running crisis.

On Monday evening, the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) passed another emergency motion which called for Jeremy Corbyn and the Party leadership to commit to a series of under-takings to show their commitment to ending the crisis.

Afterwards, Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) parliamentary chair Ms Smeeth – one of five Labour MPs who tabled the motion – told the JC: "Yet again the PLP has unanimously spoken on how the Labour Party leadership needs to tackle anti-Jewish hate in our ranks.

“The ball is now with the leadership of the party but the current misery cannot continue.

“The leadership now need to publish their submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and start consulting on a completely independent complaints and disputes process.”

The motion, which was tabled before MPs went on their Easter break, tellingly called on Labour to commit to a “fully independent complaints process for all allegations of racism, bullying and harassment by party members.”

It was written after the Sunday Times published two stories that outlined huge failings in Labour’s disciplinary processes over antisemitism allegations.

The motion also demanded the party “publish in full its response to the EHRC investigation into the management of allegations of antisemitism within the Labour Party.”

It also demanded the leadership give the PLP with “full disclosure of correspondence” relating to the Sunday Times reports – particularly in relation to the Labour press office’s attempt to discredit some of the claims.

The motion – which was also backed by MPs Stella Creasy, Wes Streeting, Catherine McKinnel and Dame Margaret Hodge – also demanded the leadership make a “public statement of solidarity” with JLM.

During Monday night’s meeting Ms Creasy and Mr Streeting both raised concerns about the actions of Brighton Labour member Amanda Bishop who wrote on Facebook that the local party “march to" a local Synagogue to protest against the suspension of a fellow Labour party member over alleged antisemitism.

The MPs said it was another illustration of why the leadership needed to tackle the party’s anti-Jewish problem.

Following Monday’s PLP vote, the Labour leadership is now expected to provide a full response to the motion in time for the next meeting of MPs, which will take place in two weeks.

Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman told the JC: "The MPs spoke out loud and clearly once again about the leadership’s failure to tackle the antisemitism problem within Labour’s ranks.

“Rather than getting better, incidents like the one in Brighton only show that the problem is getting worse.”

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