Shami Chakrabarti has been invited to speak at the prestigious St Paul’s School on the subject of “equality between people” on the occassion of International Women’s Day, despite her role whitewashing antisemitism within the Labour Party.
Following a complaint to us from an appalled alumnus, Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to the High Master of the boys’ school to ask why the disgraced peer has been invited to speak tomorrow, to insist that she is challenged on her role whitewashing anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party, and to make welfare arrangements for Jewish students and anyone else affected by her address.
The alumnus told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “My old school St Paul’s has invited Chakrabarti to speak at an event to mark International Womens’ Day on Tuesday. I and several other Jewish alumni have objected to the High Master as we don’t feel that she is suitable to be given a platform at the school, given her contribution to the continuation of antisemitism which she could have snuffed out with the position and power she had. I also don’t believe she did very much to help Margaret Hodge, Ruth Smeeth, Luciana Berger and so many other women Labour Party members who were subjected to antisemitism after the publication of her joke of a report.
“The school’s response is that they haven’t asked her to talk about antisemitism or Labour so it’s fine that she still speaks regardless of the offence it has caused and will cause Jews. They quote freedom of speech, debate, open-mindedness etc. to justify not cancelling her engagement.”
The talk can be attended by anyone who registers.
Baroness Chakrabarti launched an inquiry into antisemitism within the Labour Party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The report was widely condemned as a whitewash. Baroness Chakrabarti was then awarded a peerage in 2016 by Mr Corbyn, despite his previous pledge not to nominate anyone for peerages.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Baroness Chakrabarti’s whitewash report into antisemitism in Labour set back the fight against racism in the Party by years, causing untold distress to the Jewish community. It is most regrettable that St Paul’s has chosen to honour her with this platform, and we have written to the High Master to this effect. If the event does go ahead, there must be opportunity for her shameful record to be challenged and appropriate arrangements must be put in place for Jewish and other pupils who do not wish to attend or who are adversely affected. We have also offered to provide a presentation on antisemitism to pupils, which can help illuminate the extent of the damage Baroness Chakrabarti did in the months prior to receiving her peerage.”
Four years after Baroness Chakrabarti’s shameful whitewash report, the Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Current leader Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.