Graham Durham, a member of the Brent Central Labour Party and of the Unite union, told a rally for Rebecca Long-Bailey, a candidate for the Party’s leadership, that she was guilty of “cuddling up to…the Chief Rabbi, a well-known Tory,” for which he was cheered by others in the room. “We should not be allowing that,” he said.
Mr Durham has now reportedly been suspended (although earlier this week he apparently disputed this), which makes him ineligible to run for the NEC, despite his thirteen nominations from branches of the Labour Party across the country. Mr Durham also said earlier this week: “whilst anti-racist to my core, I did call the Chief Rabbi a Tory…are facts illegal now?”
The Chief Rabbi courageously spoke out against antisemitism in the Labour Party.
It comes after the “Jew process” councillor and NEC candidate, Jo Bird, was suspended for several days for a second time before her suspension was lifted, enabling her to continue her run for Labour’s top body.
Meanwhile, Labour has also suspended a Blackburn councillor alleged to have claimed that Jews created the ISIS terrorist organisation, a popular antisemitic trope.
Cllr Tasleem Fazal reportedly made a video during an anti-Israel protest in 2014 when he called peace protestors “murderers” and during which he was asked by a demonstrator wearing a skullcap: “ISIS – is ISIS Jewish?” From behind the camera, he responded: “Who’s created it? Who’s created it? Do your homework.”
In a statement, Labour said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission 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.