Jewish Labour Movement will not support party in UK general election

The Jewish Labour Movement has about 2,500 members and is one of the oldest organizations affiliated to the party: such a move is unprecedented in its century-long history.

A man runs past a Labour Party sign with pictures of both Jeremy Corbyn and Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, in north London (photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
A man runs past a Labour Party sign with pictures of both Jeremy Corbyn and Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, in north London
(photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
The Jewish Labour Movement announced that the group would not support the Labour party in the upcoming UK general elections, the Guardian reported on Thursday.
The decision was taken to protest how the party is handling the antisemitic cases that increasingly often emerge within its ranks and leadership under the guidance of current secretary Jeremy Corbyn.
According to the British paper, the Jewish Labour Movement has about 2,500 members and is one of the oldest organizations affiliated to the party: such a move is unprecedented in its century-long history.
The UK general elections are scheduled for December 12. The country is divided into constituencies. Each party runs one candidate for each constituency and the candidate who receives more votes is elected as a representative in the House of Commons.
JLM said that they would make an exception to their general rule only for specific candidates.
"We will not be campaigning unless in exceptional circumstances and for exceptional candidates, like our parliamentary chair Ruth Smeeth, and members of the parliamentary Labour party who've been unwavering in their support of us. We will not be giving endorsements to candidates in non-Labour-held seats," JLM said in a statement quoted by the Guardian.
Since Corbyn's election as Labour's head in 2015, the party has faced multiple scandals related to his personal opinions and actions – which have included calling Hamas and Hezbollah "friends" and stating that "British Zionists" lack of sense of humor – but also to antisemitic and extremist views rooted in the party.
Earlier this year, the British equality watchdog Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) opened a formal investigation into the party.
Several Labour politicians have since resigned from the party, including JLM's honorary president Louise Ellman, who left Labour after 55 years earlier this month.
In April, JLM called Corbyn "unfit" to be prime minister.
In announcing that they will not campaign for Labour candidates, the group also said that they still supported Labour's values and that would not back as a prime minister not only conservative leader Boris Johnson but also Liberal-Democrat candidate Jo Swinson. Several former Labour MPs, including Jewish MP Luciana Berger, decided to join the Lib-Dems after quitting Corbyn's party.
"The Jewish Labour Movement has a long and proud history of activism in the Labour party and the wider Labour movement and 2020 marks our 100th anniversary of affiliation to the Labour party," the JLM statement also said.
"This crisis of antisemitism in the Labour party stems from a failure of leadership from Jeremy Corbyn. When the answer has been to take swift, decisive action, the reality has been equivocation and token gestures," it added.
Earlier this month, a survey by the Jewish Chronicle of London revealed that the vast majority of British Jews fear a Corbyn-led government more than a no-deal Brexit scenario.