Preston Tabois, a Labour councillor in Haringey suspended six months ago and now readmitted to the Party, has been the subject of an incoherent disciplinary decision by the Labour Party that illustrates how far it still has to go in addressing antisemitism.
Cllr Tabois, who is also an activist with the Unite union and is backed by the pro-Corbyn Momentum pressure group, was reported by Guido Fawkes to have appeared to endorse the despicable notion that Jews murdered each other in the Holocaust in some masterplan to create the State of Israel, and other antisemitic conspiracy theories.
He was slated to be a Labour candidate for the London Assembly in the coming local elections. His suspension for six months, along with a fellow controversial Haringey councillor, Noah Tucker, who has also reportedly weighed in on the matter, brought that candidacy into question.
It is understood that Cllr Tabois claimed to the Party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) that he had made the inflammatory social media comments at a time when he did not know about antisemitism and would not now repeat the comments. The NEC panel suspended him for six months, apparently with a view to him being able to stand for the London Assembly once the suspension was lifted, but that decision has now been put to another NEC panel, which has voted to withdraw the Party’s endorsement of his candidacy.
In any event, while Cllr Tabois has reportedly lost his place on the Party’s electoral slate, he appears to remain a member of and councillor for the Party. Given that the much-anticipated independent disciplinary process that the Party is required to introduce has not yet been launched, it is not clear on what basis the NEC has reached this bizarre outcome.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Cllr Preston Tabois is the latest example of Labour’s unfit disciplinary regime. The panel that decided his case was working under guidelines nobody can fathom and has reached an outcome nobody can understand. This is not transparency and it is not zero tolerance. This sort of incoherent decision is why the Party so desperately needs the independent disciplinary system that the EHRC has mandated, and it is why no one can have confidence in Labour’s commitment to fighting antisemitism until that new system is implemented.”
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. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.