Tackle Jew-hate or Labour risks seeming 'institutionally antisemitic', angry MPs tell Corbyn

Motion warns failing to do so 'seriously risks antisemitism in the party appearing normalised'


Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to reveal details of Labour’s disciplinary process after angry MPs warned the ongoing failure to tackle high-profile cases of Jew-hate could leave the party seeming "institutionally antisemitic". 

An 11-point motion tabled at Monday night’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) calls on the leadership to reveal how many outstanding cases are still unresolved.

It says MPs are "very concerned... that a number of cases of alleged antisemitic activity from high-profile members have been dropped".

It comes two days after ex-MP Jim Sheridan was readmitted to the party without punishment for saying he no longer had "respect and empathy" for British Jews because they were working with "Blairite plotters" to undermine Mr Corbyn.

"The PLP is dismayed that there remains such a backlog of antisemitism cases that are still to be investigated and a decision reached," the motion says.

"The PLP calls on the party leadership to adequately tackle cases of antisemitism, as a failure to do so seriously risks antisemitism in the party appearing normalised and the party seeming to be institutionally antisemitic."

One MP told the JC the motion was "an attempt to show the leadership they are not off the hook - especially in light of this week's appalling behaviour".

The chair of the PLP meeting confirmed it would be debated next Monday.

Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein said it would "hopefully provide an opportunity for the Labour Party to give its MPs the transparency many have been seeking".

He added: "The Jewish community met with the Labour leadership last April where we raised our concerns about the levels of antisemitism within the party.

"Ten months on and we are no closer to seeing the backlog of antisemitism cases resolved with some having been dropped all together.

"We can not take the words ‘zero tolerance’  at face value until those words are met with action.”

The motion asks how many times General Secretary Jennie Formby has intervened to take no further action against members who have been complained about. 

It also calls on the leadership to disclose the number of staff the party employs to handle and investigate complaints and how how much it has spent on outside lawyers in disciplinary disciplinary cases against members;

The motion also asks which Jewish community organisations have been consulted on the party's still un-reviewed Code of Practice on Jew-hate and what the timetable is for when this process is to be complete.

The motion sets out detailed questions demanding to know which people or organisations have been commissioned to provide antisemitism training to members who must complete it as a sanction, when this training will be finalised and when it will be rolled out.

The motion also demands the party disclose whether all members of its governing body, the NEC, who sit on the antisemitism Disputes Panel have completed antisemitism training.

The motion, proposed by MP Catherine McKinnell and seconded by her colleague Ruth Smeeth, asks the Labour leadership to provide answers in time for the PLP meeting next week. 

On Monday, the JC asked Labour whether Mr Sheridan's case had been properly investigated by the party's disciplinary committee.

We also enquired about other recent cases of alleged antisemitism that had been shelved.

Labour responded with its standard response saying it took all cases of alleged antisemitism seriously.

Tensions have risen among Labour MPs over the leadership's decision to attend Sunday's Holocaust Memorial Day Trust commemoration event en masse.

Mr Corbyn, his wife, party General Secretary Jennie Formby and chief of staff Karie Murphy were given seats near the front of the event at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster.

The JC spoke with MPs, as well as relatives of Holocaust survivors who were upset by the presence of such a large group of the Labour leadership - especially amid a poor record on resolving outstanding antisemitism cases.

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