STATEMENT ON ANTISEMITISM IN THE LABOUR PARTY

“As members of the Tribune Group of MPs we are shocked at the accounts in recent days from former members of Labour Party about the handling of antisemitism complaints and also how individual employees have been treated. We support former employees in speaking out and commend their bravery in doing so. The Labour Party has always and always will support whistle blowers in coming forward when they are concerned about wrongdoing.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and with Jewish members of the Labour Party in these very difficult circumstances. It is totally unacceptable that Jewish members no longer feel welcome or safe in the Labour Party.  

“The Labour' Party's historic values of fighting racism in all its forms is central to our political values- and that means challenging the scourge of antisemitism wherever and whenever it arises.  It is the fact that these values are not adequately being put into action through the party’s internal structures that has led to the Labour Party being investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.  Urgent action is needed by the NEC to reflect these values and implement them both as an employer and in the internal structures of the party.

“In order to demonstrate that those values are put into practice, the Labour Party's complaints process must be both effective and totally transparent and must not be compromised in relation to dealing fairly with complaints about antisemitism.

“We believe that the concerns these members of staff have made cannot be ignored. Given the seriousness of the concerns that have been raised, an internal inquiry would not be adequate or trusted and so we call on the NEC to set up an independent investigation into the allegations of interference into party procedures.

“As an employer the Labour Party has a duty of care towards all its members of staff and to treat all employees with dignity and respect. There must be zero tolerance of bullying and harassment in the workplace. We are very concerned about the number of members of staff who reported anxiety, depression and mental health issues whilst working at the Labour Party, and we do not accept that the thrust of these latest disclosures by hardworking staff members was motivated by anything other than genuine distress and concern about what has gone wrong. 

“Tribune MPs will give whatever support we can to those former or current members of Labour Party staff who face any form of intimidation.

“But further statements of shock and disappointment are not enough. We are already overdue the time for taking the kind of action which has any chance of restoring confidence in our values and processes. The NEC must therefore act immediately to:

  • Immediately establish an independent investigation into the allegations of interference in the party’s disciplinary procedures
  • Establish an independent complaints procedure with representation from the Jewish community, which is totally independent from the Leadership of the Labour Party.
  • Agree a process for automatic suspension from the Labour Party where there are prima facie breaches of the code of behaviour relating to antisemitism.

“Members of the NEC must have access to the evidence provided to the EHRC in order to fulfil their proper functions and responsibilities in relation to the party.”

Signed by:

Clive Efford

Yvette Cooper

Karen Buck

Diana Johnson

Ian Murray

Stephen Kinnock

Lilian Greenwood

David Hanson

Chris Matheson

Dan Jarvis

Kate Green

Rosie Duffield

Lucy Powell

Paul Williams

Liz McInnes

Rushanara Ali

Debbie Abrahams

Liam Byrne

Gareth Thomas

Owen Smith

Ruth Cadbury

Seema Malhotra

Ian Lucas

Justin Madders

Alex Cunningham

Anna Turley

Jeff Smith

Daniel Zeichner