The family of a murdered Labour activist is demanding an apology from the Labour Party for having given an award named after him to the Jewish Labour Movement, saying the award should be withdrawn.
On Sunday night the JLM was given the Del Singh award, which recognises effective campaigns led by the Labour Party’s affiliated and member-led organisations. Mr Singh was shot and killed in 2014 by terrorists in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, presented the award to the JLM and Jewish MP Louise Ellman for “engaging and mobilising the Jewish community in support of Labour campaigns”.
However, on Monday evening, the Del Singh foundation tweeted an “official statement from our family about the Labour Party awarding the Del Singh Memorial award to Louise Ellman MP and JLM.”
The statement demanded an apology from “the general secretary and the leader of the Labour party” for “misappropriation”, talking of the family’s “shock and disbelief” at the award being given to the JLM, and accusing the Jewish Labour organisation of having “tirelessly defended the human rights abuses of the Israeli occupation, which Del spoke so passionately against… those that have defended the illegal blockade against Gaza and the consecutive wars against the trapped population which Del categorically believed to be nothing short of collective punishment and war crimes.”
The statement, which was made in the name of Dishi Kaur-Umfleet, the sister of Mr Singh, talked of the “exploitation and manipulation of… my brother’s name… disrespecting his memory and everything he stood for”.
It also appears to confuse two different organisations, making a reference to LFI (Labour Friends of Israel), an entirely separate organisation, saying that “the real irony here is that Del would not have been able to meet the LFI in Israel as he was banned from travelling there since 2006 for speaking out against Israel’s human rights abuses.”
Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the JLM, responded by saying that he “had the privilege of meeting Del Singh on a number of occasions at Labour Party meetings and events.
“Whilst we clearly had different perspectives on elements of the Middle East conflict we also had much in common on both this and other issues, including commitment to human rights, equality and social justice. Del always talked about the importance of listening to narratives other than our own.
“It is in that spirit that we are proud to have received this award. I have communicated this to Del's family and very much hope to have the opportunity to meet with them in due course. "