Investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party

Posted on 17 October 2020

Equality and Human Rights Commission

October 2020

This report is being published during a time like no other in recent memory. Politicians have been asked to show leadership to steer the country out of an unprecedented crisis, and we are being asked to put our trust in them to do so.

Trust should be at the heart of a political party’s relationship with its members, and with the wider general public; yet what this investigation has shown is a clear breakdown of trust between the Labour Party, many of its members and the Jewish community.

The investigation was prompted by growing public concern about antisemitism in the Labour Party and followed official complaints received by us. Despite this concern and an internal inquiry led by Baroness Chakrabarti in 2016, our investigation found significant failings in the way the Labour Party has handled antisemitism complaints over the last four years.

We found specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference in our evidence, but equally of concern was a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues, which is hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism.

The Labour Party must live up to this commitment and acknowledge the impact that multiple investigations and years of failing to tackle antisemitism has had on Jewish people. Rebuilding trust and confidence with its members, the Jewish community and the wider public will be crucial for the future. A transparent and independent antisemitism complaints process, which ensures that all cases of alleged discrimination, harassment or victimisation are investigated promptly, rigorously and without political interference, must sit at the heart of this.

However, tackling antisemitism isn’t just about procedures. It is also about making sure that the Labour Party has a culture that clearly reflects its zero tolerance of antisemitism and indeed of all forms of discrimination.

Investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party

The relationship between a political party and its existing and prospective members is critical to the effectiveness of democracy. While this investigation considered discrimination and harassment in one political party, such matters are by no means an issue for the Labour Party alone. Most political parties are considered associations under the Equality Act 2010. This means that, by law, they must not discriminate against, harass or victimise members, associates, guests, or those wanting to become members, on the basis of a number of protected characteristics, including race and religion.

Read in full: Investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party


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