The Labour Party has reportedly suspended the four members of the executive of the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) in Wavertree who criticised their local MP for expressing regret that her predecessor, Luciana Berger, felt she had to leave the Party.
The CLP chair, Nina Houghton, CLP secretary, Kevin Bean, CLP women’s officer Helen Dickson, and CLP BAME officer Hazuan Hashim, have apparently been suspended from Labour pending an investigation. They criticised new MP Paula Barker for an article in the Jewish Telegraph in which she tried to reach out to the Jewish community.
They were in turn criticised by other CLP members for acting without authority, but there are suggestions that the entire CLP may be suspended from the Party.
Other CLPs are also reportedly being investigated, including Hampstead and Kilburn, a constituency with a sizable Jewish community and about which a 98-page report on antisemitism and bullying was submitted to the Labour Party. Dame Louise Ellman’s former constituency of Liverpool Riverside is also apparently being investigated, as is Hastings and Rye and also High Peak, where there have been claims of antisemitism.
The announcements come shortly after the selection of David Evans as Labour’s new General Secretary.
While Campaign Against Antisemitism welcomes the belated investigations, there is concern that these suspensions are haphazard and still leave other cases outstanding. Moreover, suspension is not in itself a sanction, and an independent disciplinary process must be established immediately to ensure that these cases are dealt with swiftly, fairly and transparently.
On 28th May 2019, the EHRC launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
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.