The co-Chair of Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, has been expelled from the Labour Party and thrown out of its annual conference, where JVL was hosting yet another outrageous event.
JVL claimed that Leah Levane was expelled “because she rightly said the Party has been cynically abusing antisemitism issues not to protect Jews but to make Labour a socialist free zone”.
In reality, Ms Levane was more likely expelled for her association with Labour Against the Witchhunt, an antisemitism-denial group that has been proscribed by the Labour Party. Ms Levane is a councillor at Hastings Borough Council, where she was reportedly the only councillor present at a vote to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism to abstain. In 2017, Ms Levane reportedly commented on Facebook on an item titled “Austria’s neo-Nazis find friends in Israel”, writing that it was “not surprising”. She also claimed online: “Jews are often agents rather than instigators of exploitation.”
JVL hosted a fringe event over the weekend at Labour’s annual conference. In the past, its events have attracted controversy. This year’s event – titled “Labour in Crisis – Tackling Racism in the Party” – came after numerous JVL members have found themselves threatened with expulsion from the Party.
The event welcomed numerous former Labour members who have been expelled from the Party, including the antisemites Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. The Party has claimed that it cannot prevent expelled members from attending fringe events, which, as one journalist rightly put it, “makes a mockery of claims in the Party’s own guide.”
Although the Party supposedly cannot prevent expelled members from attending fringe events, it does not mean that the Party cannot sanction those who shared a platform with such individuals, as per Sir Keir Starmer’s (poorly fulfilled) leadership election pledge. For example, the former Shadow Chancellor and current backbench MP John McDonnell attended the event.
Elsewhere, the pro-Corbyn MP and controversial former Shadow Minister, Dawn Butler, was also apparently seen wearing a JVL badge, while Andy McDonald, the Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, is reportedly due to host an event with the suspended Labour MP and antisemite Jeremy Corbyn in support of a Unite campaign.
Labour’s annual conference continues in Brighton until Wednesday.
The Labour Party was found by the 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.
UPDATE: JVL has reportedly apologised “unreservedly” after LBC’s political editor Theo Usherwood was allegedly assaulted. Mr Usherwood accused Mr Greenstein of assaulting him and that the crowd had applauded when he was forcibly ejected from the room, before later being permitted re-entry.