The new chair of the Labour Party’s disputes panel does not believe that the Party has a problem of institutional antisemitism, even as her brother is suspended over antisemitism allegations.
Yasmine Dar, a councillor in Manchester and member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), was elected this week to head up the Party’s disputes panel, which oversees its disciplinary processes.
Ms Dar has previously responded to the opening of an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in May 2019 by saying that “I haven’t seen any evidence that this prejudice among a minority of members is an institutional problem” and accusing the independent body of “political point scoring”.
The EHRC launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party on on 28th May 2019 following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Ms Dar, a longtime backer of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who voted for her to chair the disputes panel, has also previously accused the “Labour right” of being part of a conspiracy to undermine Mr Corbyn, claiming: “Our Party’s bureaucracy was controlled by the Labour right until last year, who – recent leaked e-mails suggest – may have sat on antisemitism cases to destabilise Jeremy’s leadership.” She has also in the past expressed support for the Iranian Revolution, which brought an antisemitic genocidal regime into power.
Ms Dar’s brother, Majid Dar, has also reportedly been suspended from Labour over allegations of antisemitism, and there are concerns over the independence of the investigative and disciplinary process in view of his sister’s new role.
Ms Dar, a member of the unions Unite and Unison who also sits on Labour’s North West Regional Board, replaces Claudia Webb in the prominent role after Ms Webb, a defender of Ken Livingstone, won a safe seat in the General Election. Ms Webb was originally elected to the role in 2018 after her candidacy was proposed by Pete Willsman, another NEC member who has since been suspended. Calls to expel Mr Willsman have recently intensified.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The election of Yasmine Dar to replace Claudia Webb as the head of Labour’s disputes panel is another illustration of Jeremy Corbyn’s enduring legacy and shows not only that zero progress has been made in confronting the Labour’s institutional antisemitism but also that there is no will in the National Executive Committee to do so. Labour cannot possibly win back the trust of the Jewish community while it continues down this path.”
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.