A Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) official once labelled an “antisemitism denier” chaired a Labour disciplinary panel on antisemitism last week. JVL is an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation.
Stephen Marks chaired a panel comprising three members of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), the Party’s highest disciplinary body, on 8th April, to review claims by the former Mayor of Haringey and current Labour councillor, Sheila Peacock, of bullying and antisemitism against Cllr Vincent Carroll.
Cllr Peacock, who is Jewish, alleged that Cllr Carroll threatened and bribed her to leave the Labour Party over a dispute regarding her postponement of a meeting. She claims that Cllr Carroll texted her to say that she would be “physically removed from office.” She says that he also offered her money to leave the Party and alleged that the monetary incentive was antisemitic as it was made because she was Jewish (an allusion to the classic antisemitic trope connecting Jews and money).
Cllr Peacock then reportedly texted Cllr Carroll, saying: “Money unlike for some is not my God,” to which Cllr Carroll reportedly responded, “Yes it is. You either move the AGM or be disciplined by the Party.”
After hearing the case, the NCC reportedly cleared Cllr Carroll of any wrongdoing, which left Cllr Peacock “distraught”.
There was reportedly some controversy amongst senior Labour officials regarding the inclusion of Mr Marks on the panel.
Mr Marks has a history of controversial behaviour. In 2017, he signed a petition in support of Jackie Walker, a former Vice-Chair of Momentum and one of those exemplifying the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Ms Walker was repeatedly suspended by Labour and finally expelled in 2019. She has persistently claimed that complaints of antisemitism are part of a plot to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and has rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism.
In 2018, Mr Marks also reportedly shared a petition in support of David Watson, who was suspended from Labour in 2016 for allegedly sharing claims on social media comparing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide. Mr Marks is reported to have written in respect of Mr Watson: “It is cases like this which ‘bring the party into disrepute’. Those responsible are the ones who should be suspended!”
According to the Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council, Mr Marks claimed at a meeting that “Labour’s antisemitism problem was a fabrication of Israeli propagandists and arms dealers terrified of a Corbyn government”.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a complaint against Jeremy Corbyn, holding him responsible for conduct that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Labour Party, as the Leader during the period of the EHRC’s shameful findings. Given the serious detriment that this conduct has caused, we are seeking Mr Corbyn’s immediate resuspension and, if the complaint is upheld, we will be requesting his expulsion. On the day of the publication of the EHRC’s report, we also submitted a major complaint against Mr Corbyn and other sitting MPs. These complaints are yet to be acknowledged by the Party, and they must be investigated by an independent disciplinary process that the EHRC has demanded and Sir Keir has promised but has yet to introduce.
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.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
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.