"flawed" figures

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Briefing

Our Briefing on “Flawed” Labour Antisemitism Figures

Labour Against Antisemitism Briefing on “Flawed” Labour Antisemitism Figures

Overview

  • Labour Against Antisemitism questions reliability of new Labour antisemitism figures;
  • Underlying figures show the party is still apparently failing to tackle antisemitism crisis;
  • More than a quarter of reported cases of antisemitism are rejected and face no disciplinary action at all;
  • Refusal to share Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) submission suggests party still has “plenty to hide”.

The reliability of Jennie Formby’s antisemitism figures are highly questionable given their source. The Labour Party, currently being investigated by the EHRC for institutional racism, has repeatedly appeared to downplay and deflect the scale of its antisemitism crisis and has time and again reportedly misidentified its own members. We therefore justifiably doubt the integrity of Ms Formby’s reports.

Even if we take these apparently highly flawed figures at face value then, behind the spin from Labour HQ, we see an organisation that still seems incapable of dealing with anti-Jewish racism. According to them, in 2019 there were 45 expulsions, but this was just 4.4% of cases, a risible amount considering the alleged scale of the problem and their so-called commitment to zero tolerance.

It should also be noted that some 255 cases – around a quarter – were deemed to not meet the threshold of a rule breach.

High profile examples included:

  • the TUC President, Mark Serwotka, who was reported by Labour Against Antisemitism for reportedly claiming the Labour antisemitism crisis was created by Israel to distract from 'atrocities' and was let off in February 2019:
  • Maria Carroll, the Labour election candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, who was not even investigated in December 2019 despite evidence presented by Labour Against Antisemitism that suggested she had been running a secret Facebook group to help Holocaust deniers escape party suspension and expulsion.

And despite a much vaunted speedier process for dealing with cases, the former MP Chris Williamson was apparently able to auto-exclude himself in November by standing for election against Labour, rather than be formally expelled – even though he was suspended as long ago as February 2019.

The refusal of Jennie Formby to share the Labour Party’s submission to the EHRC is also revealing, and suggests the party leadership still has plenty to hide.

Euan Philipps, Labour Against Antisemitism spokesperson, said:

“We have long given up trusting anything the Labour Party says on antisemitism, but even their own figures suggest an organisation apparently dismally failing to address endemic anti-Jewish racism.

General Secretary Jennie Formby seems to be mistaking making cosmetic process changes with taking tangible action, and until we see significant numbers of Labour members – including some at the top of the party – being expelled for antisemitism then it appears the Labour Party will remain mired in this catastrophe of its own making.

Meanwhile Labour’s reluctance to share the party’s submission to the EHRC with leadership candidates is bizarre – and suggests the organisation still has plenty to hide.”

Links:

https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/13434_20-Statistics-Report-No-Place-For-Antisemitism.pdf

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-antisemitism-israel-corbyn-mark-serwotka-tuc-trade-union-pcs-a8535986.html

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-accused-of-ignoring-ihra-antisemitism-definition-after-dismissing-two-complaints-1.479556

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-50445656

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47393626

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-refuses-to-give-leadership-candidates-its-response-to-ehrc-probe-1.496176