The Labour Party has announced the appointment of Jane Ramsey, described as “an expert on standards in public and political life”, to lead on the establishment of a new independent complaints process for internal disciplinary matters.
Welcoming the appointment, Keir Starmer said: “I am delighted that Jane is leading our party’s implementation of the EHRC’s recommendations. Jane brings a wealth of experience to this role.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission on Labour antisemitism published in October found Labour responsible for three breaches of the Equality Act, partly relating to political interference in antisemitism complaints.
The party was served with an unlawful act notice and given six weeks – until December 10th – to produce a draft action plan in response to the findings and recommendations of the report released by the equality body.
The EHRC must agree with the plan and will monitor its administration. Labour is legally mandated to commission an independent process to handle and determine antisemitism complaints as soon as rule changes allow.
Starmer added: “Since I was elected Labour leader, I have made it my mission to root out antisemitism from our party. I remain utterly determined to restore trust with the Jewish community and make the Labour Party a safe place for Jewish people.”
The Labour leader has vowed to set up an independent process “as soon as possible”, aiming for early in the new year. He has said he has “every confidence” that Ramsey will ensure a new system is in place “as a matter of urgency”.
Starmer has been clear that Labour’s current process “does not have the confidence of the Jewish community”, but his spokesperson last week resolved the party to clearing the backlog of antisemitism cases using this system.
An exclusive poll of Labour members by Survation for LabourList found that 63% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “I do not trust the Labour Party’s current internal disciplinary process” and just 18% said they did trust it.
Ramsey, who trained as a barrister, is currently chair of Young Epilepsy, a national charity that provides education, residential services and health services to children and young people with epilepsy, autism and other neurological conditions.
Labour’s new senior adviser on standards and ethics resigned last month – on October 28th – from the committee on standards in public life, which advises the Prime Minister on ethical standards across the whole of public life in the UK.
She also undertakes medical research and has experience in the health sector, having chaired Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Addenbrookes) and been vice-chair at University College London Hospitals.
Ramsey has tweeted about supporting trans rights, LGBT+ inclusive lessons in schools and being the parent of a young adult trans woman, as well as health and education issues relating to autism and epilepsy in particular.