Antisemitism in Political Parties

“Antisemitism is the organisation of politics against the Jews” — Ruth Wisse

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Political and Government Investigations Unit investigates and documents the antisemitism of those holding office within British political parties and monitors the parties’ responses. Antisemitism can only flourish in society when it is inflamed or tolerated by political and institutional leaders: our political parties must therefore respond rapidly, firmly and transparently in investigating any allegations of antisemitism.

We judge antisemitism using the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by nations and organisations around the world, including the United Kingdom and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee made recommendations which endorsed our Manifesto for Fighting Antisemitism in Political Parties by proposing that the definition be formally adopted by the British Government and all political parties. The Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have now adopted the definition.

Individuals included in our research date from 2013 to the present day and have been assessed using our objective methodology. Our traffic light mark on each entry is a measure of how we assess a political party’s behaviour according to our Manifesto for Fighting Antisemitism in Political Parties, not on the severity of any individual’s antisemitism. Some of the individuals we have included may not be antisemites, but might instead have deployed the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation, in which Jewish complaints of antisemitism are characterised as lies. Campaign Against Antisemitism has no political affiliations or bias, and lists antisemitic incidents from any political party.

British National Party

The British National Party has been in steep decline, becoming largely defunct. While undoubtedly harbouring racist views, it has fielded very few candidates since 2013, which is the cut-off for our research. Following requests by Campaign Against Antisemitism, they have failed to confirm whether they accept the International Definition of Antisemitism already adopted by various other parties and the British Government.

Good outcomes: 0%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 0%
Bad outcomes: 100%
2

cases

Conservative and Unionist Party

The Conservative Party has been responsible for the United Kingdom’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, for which it is to be applauded. It is not immune from criticism, however. It has failed to discipline a sitting MP who referred to the supposed “power of the Jewish lobby in America”, amongst others alleged to have participated in antisemitic discourse.

Good outcomes: 50%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 0%
Bad outcomes: 50%
4

cases

Green Party

Our analysis of antisemitic discourse amongst Green Party office holders indicates that they seem to have little or no consciousness of the nature of post-Holocaust antisemitism, so that even parliamentary candidates repeat bizarre antisemitic myths without inhibition, and support prominent antisemites in other parties. Following repeated requests by Campaign Against Antisemitism, they have failed to confirm whether they accept the International Definition of Antisemitism already adopted by various other parties and the British Government.

Good outcomes: 0%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 20%
Bad outcomes: 80%
5

cases

Labour Party

The supposedly anti-racist Labour Party has failed to firmly and consistently address antisemitism, even proving incapable of expelling a Holocaust revisionist, a senior MP who said that “Jewish money” controls the Conservative Party, and another prominent official who claimed that Jews were “among the chief financiers of the slave trade”. It has compounded its antisemitism problem by shrouding all disciplinary matters in secrecy under guidelines introduced by Baroness Chakrabarti, thus concealing its failure to enforce discipline. Furthermore, senior figures commonly claim that the Jewish community’s collective complaints of antisemitism are essentially fabricated for concealed political purposes. The Labour Party has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Good outcomes: 5%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 31%
Bad outcomes: 64%
39

cases

Liberal Democrats

Prominent and egregious antisemites have been allowed to remain as office holders in the Liberal Democrats for many years after allegations were made, and even after those allegations had been accepted as true by Party leaders. The case of Ashuk Ahmed, who was reselected as a parliamentary candidate in 2017 after even the police had distanced themselves from him, indicates they have a systemic failure to identify antisemitism in their ranks. The Liberal Democrat party has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Good outcomes: 20%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 60%
Bad outcomes: 20%
5

cases

Scottish National Party

We believe that the Scottish National Party could and should have taken stronger action against both of the cases we have listed. The Party has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Good outcomes: 0%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 100%
Bad outcomes: 0%
2

cases

United Kingdom Independence Party

It is concerning that four out of the five UKIP have not been publicly and transparently investigated or disciplined by the party. The Party’s approach has been haphazard, sometimes summarily expelling members, while leaving others in post. Others are apparently disciplined but the outcome is left ambiguous. Following repeated requests by Campaign Against Antisemitism, they have failed to confirm whether they accept the International Definition of Antisemitism already adopted by various other parties and the British Government.

Good outcomes: 20%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 40%
Bad outcomes: 40%
5

cases

Other Political Parties

The United Kingdom has a plethora of small political parties which often only have a handful of supporters. We do not have the ability to research them exhaustively, but when we do become aware of allegations of antisemitism, we do report on them.

Good outcomes: 0%
Unsatisfactory outcomes: 0%
Bad outcomes: 100%
2

cases

Justice, justice, you shall pursue - צדק צדק תרדף
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