Sir Keir must outlaw use of ‘Zionist’ as term of abuse, says government antisemitism adviser

Lord Mann urges Labour leader to use the 'tools to clear out those who choose to be antisemitic.'


Sir Keir Starmer must outlaw the use of the words ‘’Zionist’’ or ‘’Zionism’’ as negative terms of abuse if he wants “comprehensive anti-racism” across the Labour Party, the Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism has said.

Assessing the moves the Labour leader must now implement to properly tackle the issue of anti-Jewish racism, Lord Mann said: “The thing Keir Starmer has to do is stick with the clear definition of antisemitism, and not waver from that.

‘’The second thing he should do if he wants to really imbed comprehensive anti-racism including antisemitism across the Labour Party – then the use of the words Zionist or Zionism as a term of hatred, abuse, of contempt, as a negative term – that should outlawed in the party.

‘’That’s what Chakrabarti should have done.’’

Lord Mann made his observations during an online discussion with the Antisemitism Policy Trust’s director Danny Stone.

He added: “If he does that, it gives him the tools to clear out those who choose to be antisemitic, rather than those who do so purely through their ignorance as opposed to their calculated behaviour.’’

The former Labour MP for Bassetlaw –  now a non-affiliated Life peer – said Sir Keir must also work closely with the Jewish Labour Movement which he said “helped form the Labour Party” and Jewish members  who had chosen to continue to stay in party.

Lord Mann added he was “actually very encouraged by the start”  Sir Keir has made on the issue. He added: “I think he is seeing tackling antisemitism as one of those things that will be shown to mark that he is a leader.

‘’If that’s the case then all power to his elbow – go and do it and he’ll have my backing if he does.’’

Lord Mann resigned his Commons seat last October,  blasting Jeremy Corbyn over his failure on antisemitism, but has maintained his membership of the Labour Party.

He was appointed into his new role by former Prime Minister Theresa May, and has been vocal in his support of the community in the face of rising antisemitism from both the far right and far left.



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