Labour’s General Secretary’s invitation to Party members to antisemitism training in line with the Action Plan agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been met with a revolt and antisemitic conspiracy theories.
David Evans, who has undertaken antisemitism training himself, wrote: “When I first became General Secretary of the Labour Party, I made my priorities clear. I want to ensure that our Party is a welcoming environment for all our members. In order to tackle antisemitism, it is vital to understand it.”
He added: “Our movement thrives when it is together. That’s why I am very grateful for all the invaluable work that has gone into this training session, and would like to stress its importance. I have undertaken the training myself and found it thought provoking and useful.”
The online training is due to be led by Labour’s Jewish affiliate from on 14th June.
However, it is understood that a revolt by some members is being mounted on WhatsApp, accusing the affiliate of being a propaganda tool for Israel and urging a boycott of the training sessions.
Some members were reportedly concerned that they might be recorded in the sessions, with their comments used to expel them from the Party. One participant in the discussions portrayed the Party as white supremacist, while others described antisemitism as having been weaponised or used as a smear.
Numerous pro-Corbyn groups within and beyond Labour have reportedly urged members to boycott the training sessions.
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.