Leading anti-racism educational charity appoints Ken Loach and Michael Rosen to judge competition

Show Racism the Red Card said it could not 'think of two people better qualified to choose winners'


A leading anti-racism educational charity has appointed two outspoken defenders of Jeremy Corbyn against accusations about Labour antisemitism as judges of their major schools competition.

Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) announced film director Ken Loach and children's author Michael Rosen as judges for their annual contest in which young people are asked to produce creative designs on the theme of anti-racism.

Chief executive Ged Grebby hailed them as "valued supporters" of the charity and added he could not "think of two people better qualified to choose winners".

In 2017, Mr Loach sparked outrage at the Labour conference when he discussed questioning the Holocaust.

He said: “History is for all of us to discuss. All history is our common heritage to discuss and analyse.

"The founding of the State of Israel, for example, based on ethnic cleansing, is there for us to discuss... So don’t try to subvert that by false stories of antisemitism.”

He also said that, after attending Labour Party, trade union and left-wing meetings for over 50 years, he had "never" experienced antisemitic conduct.

Mr Loach later clarified his view, saying: "The Holocaust is as real a historical event as the second world war itself and not to be challenged.

"In Primo Levi’s words: 'Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it'."

Mr Loach also called the Panorama documentary on Labour antisemitism “probably the most disgusting programme I’ve ever seen on the BBC”.

He dismissed the revelations from former Labour staffers as "propaganda from people who were intent on destroying Corbyn".

Mr Rosen has called out antisemitism on the right and was vocal in attacking Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg after he was accused of using antisemitic tropes about George Soros.

But Mr Rosen, a former supporter of the Socialist Workers Party, has been less vocal in his condemnation of antisemitism on the left and said he voted for Mr Corbyn's party in December's general election.

After the chief rabbi's dramatic intervention, highlighting Labour antisemitism during the general election, Mr Rosen responded: "I’ve known Jeremy Corbyn for 30 years. He is no antisemite.

"He has put his neck on the line hundreds of times in opposing racism, antisemitism, far right fascism, holocaust denial."

A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: "Ken Loach - who said that Labour should 'kick out' MPs who protested against antisemitism - is a poor choice to judge a competition on anti-racism.

"We have now raised this with SRtRC and have been told that the decision will be reconsidered at their next trustee meeting."

In an article for the far left's Morning Star newspaper this week, Mr Grebby wrote: "From the work SRtRC does in schools and our surveys of young people’s attitudes, we’ve found a consistent perception that racism is fuelled by the constant barrage of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant narratives."

The charity was formed in 1995 and its competition runs across 474 schools with 27,000 young people taking part last year.

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