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Labour executive gives backing to new measures on antisemitism

Labour Party conference will now be asked to adopt tougher line on dealing with antisemitism

    JLM chair Jeremy Newmark
    JLM chair Jeremy Newmark

    Labour’s national executive committee has unanimously passed a proposal for tougher action against antisemitism at a meeting this afternoon.

    A motion from the Jewish Labour Movement called for the implementation of a robust solution to tackle the problem of antisemitic harassment of party members.

    At the meeting of the party’s NEC, at which Jeremy Corbyn spoke to senior party officials for more than an hour, the constitutional amendment submitted by the JLM received unanimous backing.

    A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy welcomes the decision of the NEC to expand democracy and participation in the party.

    "Labour's membership has nearly tripled in the last two years - and the enormous benefits of that were felt at the general election. Our members have the talent, energy and skills to win elections so that we can transform our country for the many not the few.

    "Jeremy is delighted that the NEC backed plans to tackle discrimination in the party. As the party of equality, there can be no place in Labour for prejudice.

    "Jeremy thanks all those involved with drafting this motion, including the Jewish Labour Movement and Shami Chakrabarti."

    Jeremy Newmark, the JLM chair, said: “We are heartened that the NEC has adopted our rule change proposals and will be taking them forward to party conference next week.

    “This is another step forward, however our campaign will not end until these proposals are adopted in full by conference itself - this is not a given and will require the firm support of the leadership.

    “These constitutional amendments, if passed, will simply bring Labour’s rules to the place that should have been expected from a political party rooted in values of equality and anti-racism.

    “The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

    “That means that if passed at conference the new rules will need to be firmly implemented to create a zero-tolerance environment for antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. The party will then need to take steps to rebuild its relationship with the Jewish community.”

    Currently, party members cannot be disciplined for “the mere holding or expression of beliefs and opinions”.

    The JLM says passing the motion would win back support from many former Jewish supporters of Labour – and would have led to a different punishment for former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who is currently suspended from the party for his comments on Hitler and Zionism.

     

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