Antisemitism in Political Parties

Adrian Heald

2019: Labour parliamentary candidate, Mid Norfolk

2015: Labour parliamentary candidate, Crewe and Nantwich


  1. On 6th August 2019, Dr Adrian Heald tweeted: [a] “Odd how people who are screaming about [antisemitism] in Labour are totally fine with blatant Islamophobia, if you are against discrimination and you are serious about it, you have to tackle ALL discrimination and not just ‘select’ ones that fit your agenda”.Another Twitter account responded to Dr Heald by saying: [b] “Adrian you know me I detest Labour with every fibre of my being for the way they ruined Scotland for so many decades, but for the life of me I’ve yet to see any evidence of institutional antisemitism in them…it’s just b*ll*cks!” Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.Having conceded that it might not be “absurd to say that there might be the odd member” who expressed antisemitic views, Dr Heald went on to say: “If one or two individual members hold those views, we need to tackle the members.” His interlocutor replied: [c] “Exactly! Tackle the actual problem (i.e. individual members) and not the fake made-up problem (institution itself)”. Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.
  1. On 11th November 2019, Dr Heald engaged in an extended Twitter exchange with an account called @EnglandYankin, whose operator claims to be Jewish, but who had, since the creation of their account a few weeks previously, engaged in a significant quantity of antisemitic discourse, including asserting that the Jewish Chronicle is “owned by Isreal” [sic], as well as claiming that allegations of antisemitism were “smears” “paid [for] by the Tories” or instigated by Israel.During the course of the exchange, Dr Heald stated: [a] “…even a single incident [of antisemitism] is too much, but I do not think it is really such a big problem as the media tries to make out, or else my Jewish friends would have mentioned it”, to which @EnglandYankin replied: “It’s a smear. A huge smear. [b] That right wing jewish [sic] rag is under Tory control. Being pro Palestine anti Isreali [sic], which I am, is the Hard right Jewish agenda. To smear. I’m left. It’s a political tool to discord division.” Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.It seems likely that the “right wing jewish [sic] rag” to which @EnglandYankin referred in [2b] was the Jewish Chronicle, given that the account had displayed particular animosity towards it a few days previously and endorsed its being compared with the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.When Dr Heald responded: [c] “I’m not saying we do not have the problem, we address it, but I am a bit tired of it being weaponized”, @EnglandYankin replied: [d] “The weaponisation of anti-semitism has become commonplace, for reasons that have very little to do with serious concern for the welfare of all Jews. I am a Jew. I am NOT THE RIGHT WING’S MOUTHPIECE. FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW. I AM NOT THEIR TOKEN JEW. #JewsForJeremy”. Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.

    Dr Heald continued: [e] “Not to sound weird, but I think the weaponising of it, it diminishes real cases”, to which @EnglandYankin responded: [f] “Agreed. It’s calling wolf. So when it DOES happen, with swastikas and jews go home, and nazis on the door, people turn a blind eye.” Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.

    @EnglandYankin continued: [g] “The powers at [sic] be are afraid of giving power to the people. Of fair distribution of wealth. Hence, the smears. Anyone who does research knows that Corbyn is a huge champion and activist for change.” Dr Heald ‘liked’ this.


Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Dr Heald’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.

By claiming that those complaining about antisemitism, which necessarily includes Jews, are doing so because they have an “agenda” [1a]; by endorsing the assertion that allegations of Labour having a problem with institutional antisemitism are “just b*ll*cks” [1b] and a “fake made-up problem” [1c]; by endorsing the assertion that allegations of antisemitism in Labour are “a huge smear” [2a]; by claiming and endorsing claims that antisemitism is being “weaponised” [2c][2d][2e]; and by endorsing the notion that such claims are “calling wolf” [2f], he was both deploying and endorsing the deployment of the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation, by accusing Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so, when there is clear evidence that there have been breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. In so doing, he was “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews.”

We note that on 24th April 2018, in an article published in the Evening Standard, Mr Corbyn stated: “We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism [sic] has surfaced in our party…” and “when members of Jewish communities express genuine anxieties we must recognise them as we would those of any other community. Their concerns are not ‘smears’.”

By ‘liking’ the assertion that a Jewish newspaper was “under Tory control” and that to “smear” was part of a “Hard right Jewish agenda” [2b], Dr Heald was endorsing an antisemitic trope common in left-wing discourse, which allows the views and concerns of Jewish people not only to be dismissed, but which also seeks to demonise them by association with political groups already demonised on the left, either by employing the generalised term ‘right wing’, or by explicitly linking them with the Conservative Party, which is often associated with the notion of ‘evil’ in left-wing discourse. As such, and by ‘liking’ the assertion that allegations of antisemitism, characterised as “smears”, were being made as part of a shadowy plot by “powers [that] be” in order to prevent “giving power to the people…[and] fair distribution of wealth” [2g], he was further endorsing “mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews.”


We do not know whether disciplinary action has been taken by the Labour Party against Dr Heald, and at the time of writing, on 26th November 2019, we have no record of any. However, the circumstances and outcomes of any such action would remain unknown, owing to the conditions of secrecy imposed by Baroness Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.

In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to Dr Heald, but did not receive a response.


Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “bad”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 4th December 2019.