Open letter to Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol from Richard Angell, Director of Progress
The rise in anti-semitism in our party has received much media attention in the last six months. It has sadly become an all too regular occurrence across the movement and the time for condemnation alone must end. It is time for real action. Without it we risk losing many Jewish members and failing in our duty of care to those who remain; we risk too losing non-Jewish members appalled at what has happened. It is for those of us who are not Jewish to create the kind of party where anti-semitism is not welcome and is clearly stamped out. More importantly, I know you will agree.
Today I have launched an eight-point action plan as an initial guide for getting this issue under control.
Calling time on Labour’s anti-semitism problem
1. Training for the NEC in modern antisemitism and unconscious bias
2. A vice-chair of the NEC equalities committee for the Jewish community
3. New capacity for the compliance unit
4. Time to clarify the rules – anti-semitism must lead to a lifetime ban
5. Third party reporting or an independent ombudsperson
6. Self-organised groups for Jewish youth and student members
7. A modern understanding of anti-semitism – victims matter
8. Join the Jewish Labour Movement
I know you are personally committed to solving this problem and party staff work incredibly hard to ensure the rules that we have are followed at all times. It is time, however, to get them the resources they deserve, the support they need from the whole National Executive Committee and modern rules if the current ones do not suffice.
I look forward to meeting you at the earliest opportunity to discuss this action plan, and what further measures can be put in place. In the meantime, good luck on the campaign trail.