A Labour Party panel conducting an internal review into the Party’s local operations in Liverpool was reportedly “presented with evidence of a history of antisemitism that already has led to expulsions and suspensions.”
The review was launched after allegations arose of “bullying”, “misogyny” and a “toxic culture” in the Labour Party in the city. The panel received 77 written submissions and conducted 53 interviews with 60 individuals, concluding that “Nothing less than a full reset of the Labour Party in Liverpool is needed.”
Included amongst the various problems were allegations of antisemitism, with the panel recommending compulsory antisemitism training for all elected officeholders, from MPs to branch officers. The panel has also recommended that such training should be mandatory for all candidates as well, a policy that Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) endorsed this week.
During the period of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, two Jewish women MPs from Liverpool – Luciana Berger and Dame Louise Ellman – were hounded from the Party, amid other local controversies relating to antisemitism.
The revelation came in the week of a major meeting of Labour’s NEC, in which it take numerous significant steps in the fight against antisemitism in the Party.
Those steps, however, come following weeks of support by Labour MPs and officeholders of anti-Israel rallies that featured antisemitic chanting and placards and strained relations with the Jewish community yet further. Just this week, another such rally, in Newcastle, was exposed, in which one NEC member and former Labour MP, Laura Pidcock, Cllr Ann Schofield and Daniel Kebede, the Senior Vice President of the the controversial National Education Union, spoke. At the rally, the chant “Khaybar, oh Jews” was heard, a reference to the antisemitic “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning” chant. The “Khaybar” chant is a classic Arabic battle cry referencing the massacre and expulsion of the Jews of the town of Khaybar in northwestern Arabia, now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE. The chant has been heard in numerous anti-Israel rallies in Britain and abroad.
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.