Labour has failed to address antisemitism - Labour party chair

"If you're a racist, you shouldn't be in the Labour Party."

July 8, 2019 10:39
2 minute read.
Labour has failed to address antisemitism -  Labour party chair

British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn holds the Political Declaration, setting out the framework for the future UK-EU relations, at his office in the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain April 2, 2019.. (photo credit: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/REUTERS)

Chairman of the Labour party John Cryer said while he feels there has been improvements within the political party, not all antisemites have been kicked out, The Standard reported on Monday.

"We've failed to address antisemitism," Cryer said an interview with BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour. "The bottom line is, are we kicking people out of the party who are antisemitic? In some cases yes we are, but in some cases no."

"If you're a racist, you shouldn't be in the Labour Party."

The Labour party has experienced significant controversy over antisemitism in the past. At the end of June almost 90 Labour MPs and colleagues urged Jeremy Corbyn to remove MP Chris Williamson, who was suspended over a remark on antisemitism, the Independent reported. 

Williamson was suspended in February for insinuating that the Labour party has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism. The Derby North MP was later reinstated into the party, with just a warning for his behavior.

In the beginning of July, the party's lawyer, hired last year to help tackle Labour's antisemitism problem, stepped down from his role.

The lawyer, Gordon Nardell QC, quit following a contentious retweet by the party's incoming head of membership, Jules Rutherford on Thursday.

Rutherford, who is due to start the job on Monday, shared a tweet by "Jack Jazz," which claimed that antisemitism allegations against party members are being used as a “political weapon” to “smear” party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Antisemitism has been an increasingly relevant issue within the Labour party since Corbyn was elected as leader in 2015. Many of the members, including Corbyn, have been outspoken against Israel. Many claimed the criticisms made use of antisemitic tropes.

Since then, Corbyn and his party have tried to look into the issue, but critics, like Cryer have said not enough has been done.

Over the weekend, a row also broke out within Labour party ranking members over antisemitism. The party was trying to use a non-disclosure agreement against former staffers who spoke to the BBC for a documentary about the party and its antisemitism troubles, the Guardian reported. The documentary, set to be released on Wednesday, is expected to be critical of Corbyn.

Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the party, bashed the tactic, tweeting that trying to silence employees was, “as futile as it is stupid."

On the other hand, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said the legal agreement was justified.

Ezra Taylor contributed to this report.

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