It is understood that the Labour Party will not be backing incumbent councillor John Edwards at Sandwell.
Cllr Edwards has represented the Labour Party for 43 years. However, this year he will be running as an independent candidate. He claimed that this is due to his criticisms of Sir Keir Starmer’s “dismal performance.”
Cllr John Edwards repeatedly opposed the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by the Labour Party; defended Jeremy Corbyn’s and the Party’s records on antisemitism; defended the disgraced then-Labour MP Chris Williamson; welcomed Labour’s absurd and abortive antisemitism investigation into then-MP Ian Austin; criticised then-Deputy Leader Tom Watson for speaking out against antisemitism; supported those who tried to deselect the Jewish woman MP, Luciana Berger; and boosted Jewish Voice for Labour, an antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, even facilitating the membership in that group of the disgraced journalist, Mira Bar-Hillel. As we have previously reported, he also implied comparisons of Israeli policy to the Nazis in breach of the Definition by saying to then-Prime Minister David Cameron that “when you leave Auschwitz David Cameron go to Gaza”.
Sandwell Council has had ongoing problems with numerous Labour councillors.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has published an Audit of Local Authorities, documenting the campaign for widespread adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism by local authorities. Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has not adopted the Definition, and we call on it urgently to do so and to incorporate the Definition into its codes of conduct for councillors and staff, so that the Council, as well as the Labour Party, can hold councillors to account when they promote antisemitic discourse.
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.