A former Labour leader of Brighton City Council revealed how following the last Labour Party Conference in the city two years go he “wrote a letter saying Labour would not be welcome back in Brighton if it failed to sort out its issues with antisemitism”, only to find that “the backlash against my message was swift and took me by surprise.”
In a remarkable article in The Spectator, Warren Morgan, who was Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council from 2015 to 2018 and resigned from the Party in February, recounted how at that previous Conference he had “sat in a studio listening to people who had faced abuse because they were Jewish. I heard statements recorded at a fringe event suggesting it was fine to question whether the Holocaust had ever happened.” He then felt he had to take action.
However, he went on to document what happened next: “For all my good intentions in speaking up for Jewish people who were afraid, months of e-mails, motions and unpleasant messages followed. Apologies and retractions were demanded. There were calls for me to step down. Many of these messages came from the local party, where now-suspended or expelled members labelled Jews ‘Zios’, depicted councillors — including me and one whose husband is Jewish — as dancing rabbis and called for people to march on the local synagogue in response to the suspension by Labour of a council candidate for tweeting about the ‘Israeli bloodline’.
“Finally, a motion calling for me to resign passed by some forty votes to two. It had been moved by the person later suspended after calling for a march on a local synagogue.”
Mr Warren observed that now, “despite the promises of action two years ago, and the small number of suspensions and expulsions, those pushing the same anti-Israel messages which so quickly morph into antisemitism have not gone away.
“Some of those disciplined have been quietly readmitted, or their suspensions taken no further. Those like me who have spoken out on antisemitism, however, have been pushed to the point of resignation, or deselected while the Party has simply stood by.”
Mr Warren courageously declared that “you don’t get to pick and choose the racism you stand up against”.
We commend Mr Warren for his efforts to resist the rising tide of antisemitism in the Labour Party. He has taken a courageous stance, but the institutionally antisemitic Labour Party has made him pay a heavy price.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”