Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Jewish Labour Movement passes no confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn

Group accuses the Labour leader of failing to address anti-Semitism within the party

A protester holds a framed image of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and the words "For The Many Not The Jew" during a demonstration against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in March. Getty Images
A protester holds a framed image of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and the words "For The Many Not The Jew" during a demonstration against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party in March. Getty Images

The Jewish Labour Movement, an affiliate of the Labour Party, has passed a motion of no confidence in party leader Jeremy Corbyn, reigniting anti-Semitism allegations within the British party.

Labour disputed a report in The Sunday Times referring to internal documents that showed the party had failed to take any disciplinary action in hundreds of cases of alleged anti-Semitism.

The paper reported on emails and a database that was last updated on March 8, showing how the party’s responses to such complaints were delayed, inactive and interfered with by Mr Corbyn’s office.

The documents revealed that party members investigated for posting online comments such as “Heil Hitler” had not been expelled, even though the party received the complaints a year ago.

But a spokesman for Labour said the figures were not accurate and details had been selectively leaked from emails to misrepresent the overall contents.

“The Labour party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to rooting it out of our party," the spokesman said.

"All complaints about anti-Semitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures. We can’t comment on individual cases.

“One of the emails shows the general secretary’s office ending the practice started by former staffers of asking the leader’s office for their help with clearing the backlog of cases.

"This practice lasted for a few weeks while there was no general secretary, and was ended by [the current general secretary] Jennie Formby."

The Jewish Labour Movement, which has 2,000 members, also said Mr Corbyn has continued to provoke the group.

In an amendment, the movement said Mr Corbyn had failed to adequately respond to the demands of the JLM and the Jewish community’s representative bodies.

The amendment was passed despite a plea on Sunday by shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti, who urged the movement not to focus on its concerns about Mr Corbyn.

“My plea to the Jewish Labour Movement is to stay in the Labour movement and to tackle racism together, not to personalise it and make it about Jeremy Corbyn, because he is one person and he won’t be leader forever,” Ms Chakrabarti told Sky News on Sunday.

On February 27, Labour suspended MP Chris Williamson after he said the party was “too apologetic over anti-Semitism”.

Earlier that month, nine Labour MPs left the party, frustrated by its handling of the anti-Semitism accusations and Brexit.

Updated: April 8, 2019 12:13 PM

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