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December 18, 2020 11:54 am

UK Labour Party Unveils Plan to Tackle Persistent Antisemitism in Its Ranks

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A young protester holds a placard at a demonstration organized by the British Board of Jewish Deputies to oppose antisemitism in the Labour Party, at Parliament Square in London, March 26, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Henry Nicholls.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party on Friday published a plan to handle antisemitism in its ranks, following a damning official report earlier this year that found it had broken anti-discrimination laws during the tenure of its far-left former leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

The plan has already been approved by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) — the government body whose report into the abuses against Jews by the party led to an apology from Keir Starmer, Corbyn’s successor, for the “pain and grief” Labour had caused to British Jews.

Labour’s plan commits the party to establishing an independent complaints process and addressing the large backlog of antisemitism cases.

In a foreword to the plan, Starmer and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said that tackling antisemitism was “our number one priority.”

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The EHRC report was “incredibly difficult reading for everyone who loves our party and wants it be a force for good,” the pair wrote.

“But its findings were clear and stark: the Labour Party breached the Equality Act in terms of unlawful harassment and indirect discrimination towards our Jewish members,” they noted, adding that the party must take action.

Labour will also set up an advisory board of Jewish members and develop educational material on tackling antisemitism.

This comes after the EHRC found the party had not provided adequate training for those responsible for handling complaints.

The Jewish Labour Movement, one of the party’s affiliate groups, said many of the plan’s steps were “those the JLM has been asking the party to implement for years.”

In a statement on Twitter, the group said it was disappointed that it took the intervention of the EHRC to secure the publication of the plan, but added it was “pleased that we now have a new leadership committed to act.”

The statement concluded: “While we welcome the reform of processes, by itself it is not enough. Recent events have shown a toxic culture persists in many parts of the party. Solving this is as essential as introducing an independent disciplinary process.”

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