Oxford students cleared over anti-Semitism claims but warned over bullying

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Two students at Oxford University Labour club have been handed warnings following the row over claims of anti-Semitism.

The pair were given informal warnings after claims of bullying were upheld but were cleared of showing prejudice against Jews, LabourList understands.

The sanction is at the lower end of options, which could have included a formal warning or a ban. Both individuals involved are said to have issued apologies for their actions.

The decision, discussed at the disputes panel of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) yesterday, prompted anger among some activists who said the outcome was insufficient.

LabourList understands the full inquiry into other allegations relating to Oxford University Labour Club continues to run.

It comes after Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the university club, resigned from his post and claimed several members had “some kind of problem with Jews”.

A report by Baroness Jan Royall found there was not “institutional anti-Semitism” at the university club but the full version, leaked online in August, said that anti-Semitism episodes had occurred.

Today a spokeswoman for the Labour Party declined to comment.

Last night Jeremy Newmark, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), published a critical statement calling on the party to go further to tackle anti-Semitism.

“This decision rides roughshod over the concerns and experiences of our student members. They have confronted the impact of anti-Semitism at OULC first hand. They do not feel comfortable attending meetings of their own Labour club. This has been looked at by three inquiries and one investigation…

“JLM is working with Labour Students and UJS [Union of Jewish Students] to deliver training and education to prevent future incidents. However this problem can not be fixed without the backing of a disciplinary process that is fit for purpose. This decision shows just how far we still have to go.”

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