Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted recommendations on proposed amendments to the Localism Act 2011 to the Parliamentary Committee for Standards in Public Life, in order to introduce tougher punishments for racist councillors.
The Committee, chaired by Lord Evans, has previously made recommendations to the Government on reforms to the sanctions regime for local councillors. The Government rejected the proposals, but the deficiencies of the current system mean that the problem is still very much alive.
Our submission considers the Committee’s proposals in the light of recommendations that we have published as part of our ongoing study of the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by local authorities, which, uniquely, is updated in real-time. The project also records incidents of antisemitism at local councils around the country. To see if your local council has adopted the Definition, please visit the project.
The recommendations include stricter and more uniform sanctions for local authorities to be able to impose on councillors who engage in antisemitic conduct, more clarity on when a councillor is or is not subject to the council’s code of conduct, the importance of training, and other matters. These recommendations are in addition to the importance of adopting the Definition and applying it when allegations of antisemitism arise.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We are pleased to be able to provide the Parliamentary Committee for Standards in Public Life with our recommendations for how the sanctions system in local government can be improved to better address antisemitic incidents at local councils. This submission is part of our ongoing policy work, which seeks to ensure that the authorities are empowered by law to address incidents of antisemitism wherever they arise.”