Labour should be 'toxic environment for antisemites,' says Shadow Minister

Rosena Allin-Khan tells Limmud online event that the party is 'moving forward' on antisemitism


A Shadow Cabinet Minister said the Labour party needed to become “a toxic environment for antisemites” when she addressed a Jewish event on Sunday.

Rosena Allin-Khan, the party’s spokesman on mental health and a deputy leadership contender in its recent election, told Limmud Together UK that she felt optimistic the party was “moving forward and changing” over antisemitism.

“We have a leader who takes this very seriously, who engaged immediately with the Board of Deputies right at the outset. I am really pleased that happened.”

Dr Allin-Khan, an accident and emergency doctor who has been doing shifts in the temporary Nightingale Hospital in London, called for complaints on antisemitism to be handled through an independent process.

She said it would be good for the party to work with the Jewish Labour Movement on a mandatory programme of education about antisemitism for constituencies.

“Some people use antisemitic tropes without realising that they are dangerous, that they are antisemitic,” she said.

“Trust isn’t won back overnight, it will take time. But I hope over the next few months, the next year there will be enough things that prove that there can be trust.”

She believed antisemitism had been allowed to proliferate through the party because “not enough was done to call it out when it started”.

Some people believed that somehow standing up for the  Palestinians legitimised being antisemitic, she said.

A practising Muslim, she said she had grown up with mixed-religious parentage and shared a sense of history with the Jewish community as her Catholic mother had lost many relatives during the Second World War in Poland.

When asked if leader Keir Starmer should sack the MPs who had recently taken part in a video conference call which was attended by several people who had been expelled by Labour, she said their attendance was “disappointing.”

The incident would "no doubt be on his [Mr Starmer’s radar]", she said.

Some 3,000 people took part in the online event with international speakers including Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue – which was attacked by a gunman in 2018 - and David Yarus, founder of digital dating service J-Swipe.


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