Labour's antisemitism inquiry to report by 1 July

Submitted by Matthew on 15 June, 2016 - 12:52 Author: Darren Bedford

The Labour Party's internal inquiry in antisemitism closed for submissions on 10 June. It was convened at the end of April in the wake of numerous allegations of antisemitism against various Labour Party members, including Ken Livingstone, many of whom have been suspended from the party.

The inquiry is headed by Sami Chakrabarti, formerly head of the human rights organisation Liberty, with Professor David Feldman, an academic based at Birkbeck, University of London, and Baroness Royall, the leader of the Labour Group in the House of Lords, as deputy chairs. Royall also conducted a separate investigation into allegations of racism at Oxford University Labour Club, concluding that the Club had a "clear cultural problem which means some Jews feel unwelcome", but it was not institutionally anti-semitic.

The Chakrabarti inquiry consulted with and received submissions from a wide variety of Labour Party supporters, as well as Jewish community institutions including both the Board of Deputies (the main "official" leadership body in the Jewish community) and the Jewish Socialists Group, a group of leftists who identify with the Bundist tradition of Jewish cultural autonomy. Chakrabarti announced that, while the inquiry had to "address specific concerns of antisemitism", but that "antisemitism is a form of racism and we don't believe in hierarchies of racism".

The inquiry is expected to make recommendations on how Labour deals internally with members accused of antisemitism and other forms of racism. Chakrabarti said: "I have got the opportunity to make recommendations and guidance in ways of conduct and language." The inquiry will report by 1 July.

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