The Welsh First Minister is under fire for agreeing to appear at an event with the suspended Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn and the outspoken filmmaker Ken Loach, who was recently expelled from the Labour Party.
Mark Drakeford is among the speakers at The World Transformed event in Brighton next month, timed to coincide with the Labour Party conference being held in the city.
The ticketed event is billed as a “welcoming space for a new generation of young activists who supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership” but feel “increasingly alienated” by the Party under current leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Mr Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party after downplaying the Party’s antisemitism crisis after the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report. Campaign Against Antisemitism has two outstanding complaints with Labour against Mr Corbyn, who was permitted back into the Party but remains suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party.
Mr Loach was recently expelled for his association with the newly-proscribed Labour Against the Witchhunt. The proscribed group intends to stage its own parallel events in Brighton as well.
The World Transformed event is also due to feature John McDonnell MP, the controversial former Shadow Chancellor who is also President of the Labour Representation Committee, as well as Zarah Sultana MP, who has a long record of inflammatory comments relating to the Jewish community and against whom Campaign Against Antisemitism has an outstanding complaint with the Party, and Jon Trickett MP, a close ally of Mr Corbyn’s.
Sir Keir has previously pledged to sanction Labour politicians and members who appeared on platforms with former members expelled in relation to antisemitism.
Meanwhile, at the conference itself, a number of activists have announced their intention to distribute pamphlets describing Labour’s antisemitism scandal as a “scam”. The suggestion that Jews concoct allegations of antisemitism for ulterior purposes is itself antisemitic and was recognised by the EHRC as an example of unlawful victimisation of Jewish people.
After the meme “#ItWasAScam” trended on Twitter – with the social media company predictably failing to do anything about it – the activists have produced a hard copy pamphlet that claims that “Antisemitism accusations have been used as a weapon against the Left” and declares that “the antisemitism smearing industry must now be held to account for its fraudulent accusations.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is extraordinary that the First Minister of one of the nations of this union could believe it appropriate to share a platform with figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Loach. This year’s Labour Party conference will be one of the most important moments yet in Labour’s struggle against its own institutional antisemitism, with evidence mounting of how far antisemitism-deniers are prepared to go to prevent the Party making progress. Mark Drakeford’s decision will do nothing but undermine those in Labour trying to steer the Party back to its anti-racist roots.”
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.