Labour MEPs – action against anti-Semitism

The following statement was agreed by Labour MEPs concerning the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. John Howarth MEP endorses the statement and has also signed the statement by Tribune Group Labour MPs at Westminster.


Statement from Labour MEPs on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party:

"At a time when anti-Semitism is rising across the EU, it is deeply worrying and upsetting that as Labour politicians we are being asked by colleagues from our sister parties to explain what is happening within our own party on this issue. While Labour points to the action that has been taken, it is clear that is widely perceived as insufficient in dealing with the problem.

"It is also worrying that the reaction within the Labour Party when concerns have been raised has sometimes been to question the motives of those making allegations. We must be clear: this is a problem that exists and must be addressed urgently and decisively.

"It is distressing that political opponents are able to exploit this issue and do so. This problem is weakening and undermining Labour’s cause to counter hate, racism and discrimination in society, in all its forms. Political opponents and others are only able to criticise Labour on this because there is an undeniable problem that must be addressed urgently.

"Vigorous action is now required by the Labour NEC to reassure and rebuild trust with the Jewish community and beyond. This must include provisions for immediate expulsion from the Labour Party in the most blatant prima facie cases, and a fully independent complaints process that can be judged free of political and factional interference. Labour's response to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) investigation must be shared in full with the NEC.

"All victims of racism must be heard and supported, and concerns of staff, former staff and others heeded. Those staff who have spoken out must not be subject to legal proceedings.

"We support the Jewish Labour Movement and others demanding prompt and decisive action. Labour MEPs stand with our sister party colleagues in fighting intolerance and injustice across Europe. We must therefore also be willing to challenge it at home, and sadly, even inside our own party."


See also John's article on the need for action and the new anti-Semitism in Europe