Statement following third meeting between Jewish community leaders and Labour Leader Keir Starmer
04 November 2020
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Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Mark Gardner, Chief Executive of the Community Security Trust and Mike Katz, Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement said: “We thanked Keir Starmer and the Labour Party for their firm and constructive response to the damning verdict delivered by the Equality and Human Rights Commission last week.

“We expressed our disgust that his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn had, by contrast, responded by diminishing and dismissing the legal findings of the report, thereby challenging the Labour Party’s new commitment to rooting out the problem and giving the Party no choice but to suspend him.

“While we discussed a constructive means of Labour delivering the technical recommendations of the EHRC report, a crucial element of the way forward is about culture.

“Those who are responsible for obstructing the new, positive direction set for the Party around antisemitism and undermining the confidence of the Jewish community and  Jewish Labour Party members are part of the problem and the Labour leadership will need to find a way to put a stop to it.

“Calls for leniency on the basis of party unity are misplaced when the issue at hand is antisemitism. If the Party is to show zero tolerance to antisemitism, there can be no unity with antisemites or their enablers. Indeed, the EHRC rightly dismissed such political considerations as being inappropriate for an issue in which Labour has moral and legal responsibilities.

“Recognising the progress made, but that there is still a long way to go, we expressed our ongoing willingness to work with Keir Starmer and Labour to return the Party to being proudly and unequivocally anti-racist once more.”