Tracy-Ann Oberman, John Ware and Emma Picken nominated for inaugural Pete Newbon Award

Newbon, who died last year, campaigned vigorously to raise awareness of anti-Jewish prejudice


Three campaigners helping to lead the fight against antisemitism have been nominated for an award named in honour of a Jewish academic who died by suicide last year.

Actor Tracey-Ann Oberman, journalist John Ware and Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS) activist Emma Picken have been shortlisted for the inaugural Pete Newbon Award, which recognises figures who have contributed to improving public understanding of antisemitism.

The senior humanities lecturer at Northumbria University was an LAAS director and campaigned vigorously online to raise awareness of anti-Jewish prejudice before he took his own life in January 2022.

Speaking at the time, the Jewish Labour Movement hailed Newbon as a “steadfast fighter against antisemitism in our party”.

A spokesperson for LAAS said: “The best most of us can hope for is that we have a positive impact on at least a few of the people we meet in life. 

“Pete achieved so much more than that. He inspired us, made us laugh, and shared his thoughts with us — his friends and colleagues — with an openness and honesty that is rarely experienced these days.”

The three nominees for the Pete Newbon Award have all made significant contributions to raising awareness of antisemitism over the past few years.

Picken, alongside fellow LAAS campaigners, has made “patient and careful” efforts to bring Jew hate within the Labour Party to public attention, according to the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism (LSCA), which compiled the shortlist.

Ware made the 2019 Panorama documentary Is Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party Anti-Semitic?, while Oberman has spoken regularly about anti-Jewish discrimination and is currently starring as Shylock in a Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. 

The award will be presented on October 22 as part of the part of the first annual Robert Fine Memorial Lecture.

The LSCA said: "Pete Newbon was an academic who fought hard against antisemitism. His work was warm, funny and sharp. A measure of its effectiveness is the volume and intensity of the antisemitic responses that he endured... He was our friend, our colleague and our comrade."

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