Advisory Board: submission to EHRC

Challenge to fair process: Labour's Advisory Board on Antisemitism

JVL + a member of Charedi community + a Jewish member of JVL + a British Palestinian are challenging the fairness of process by which the Labour Party has appointed its Advisory Board on antisemitism

Update, 5 August 2021

As you may recall when we set up this crowdfunder, JVL instructed solicitors to set out its concerns regarding the Advisory Board on antisemitism and request the party confirm:

  • the process and criteria that was followed to appoint the Advisory Board;
  • whether any groups outside the Party were involved in the appointment process. If so, which groups were involved and what was the nature of and reason for their involvement; and
  • the basis upon which the Party maintains that this process was appropriate and not discriminatory, and in accordance with the Rule Book, despite the exclusion of core stakeholders.

Despite various chasers from JVL’s legal representatives, the Party did not respond for over six weeks. When the Party did finally respond, it provided a blanket rejection of all of JVL’s concerns and refused to answer the questions raised concerning the process. The Party likewise refused to engage with our concerns regarding whether JVL’s exclusion from the Advisory Board amounted to a potential breach of the Equality Act (EA) 2010, appearing to deny that the EA 2010 or other equality considerations applied to the appointment of the Advisory Board at all:

The establishment of the Advisory Board is plainly a matter for the Labour Party to manage, and the implication in your letter that the Labour Party has somehow acted arbitrarily, capriciously or irrationally in the establishment of the Advisory Board, or otherwise in a manner contrary to its rules, is entirely lacking in substance and is completely refuted.

JVL is extremely concerned that the Party would already appear to be failing to engage properly with its equality duties in order to pursue factional political objectives. 

JVL has attempted to engage with the Party on multiple occasions in respect of the Action Plan’s education and training programme to identify and tackle anti-Semitism. Given JVL’s track record in providing education, it is well-placed to assist with this aspect of the Action Plan. However, the Party has refused to involve JVL at all on this issue, simply asserting that JLM (Jewish Labour Movement) is providing the training. This is further evidence of a pattern of failure to engage with the wider spectrum of Jewish voices.

JVL has not been included or consulted as a “Jewish Stakeholder”, so the Advisory Board does not reflect the breadth of Jewish communities to which its members belong. It therefore cannot re-establish the trust and confidence of all Jewish people as it excludes some key communities: JVL, Charedi community as well as non-Jewish British Palestinians.

We are therefore now making a submission to the EHRC, stating these concerns, bearing in mind the Party’s stated commitment to implement the EHRC recommendations in line with its Action Plan. The LP is obliged to act fairly and in accordance with the EA 2010.

We continue to incur legal fees with this progression, so call upon you to please donate if you can, and to share widely.

Comments (5)

  • Alexander Gavin says:

    I joined the Labour Party in support of Jeremy Corbyn and I left it when I saw what they, the parasitic right wing and/or Blairites, did to him. From the recent court cases with poor outcomes it seems that the Labour Party is a private member’s club and the “rule book” a notional thing that can be set aside or changed to suit the party/private members.
    Action taken against the party, I would suggest, must be made in regard to breaking the law or enforceable rules set outside the party.
    It’s all so awful and disheartening but thank you JVL and others for keeping a light shining.

  • Keith Venables says:

    I’ve had friendly conversations with Richard Hill today and have suggested that he was wrong to resign. Not an example to follow.

  • Doug says:

    You could save your money and concentrate on removing Red Tories from the party
    All resources should be aimed at conference, refuse to endorse Evans, restore whip to JC, greater powers for members and a direct challenge for the leadership
    If they manage to frustrate the democratic process then we need to take the nuclear option and bankrupt them by all members and unions resigning en masse on Labour Day Tuesday 5th October

  • John Bowley says:

    Without discussion much beyond the BoD and Dame Hodge, the top-down imposition of an antisemitism advisory board predominantly made up of Conservatives, establishmentarians, racist Israel government supporters and others who are hostile to the true Labour Party and its core of democratic socialism shows that the intent is not to resolve racism but to politically use it to oppress loyal Party members and to persecute honourable prominent Jewish Socialists because they are not part of the establishment. This twist of antisemitism from new management which is embracing backward old elitism is part of imposing counter-productive authoritarianism on all of us.

    Our friends of Jewish Voice for Labour understand the problems more than I can articulate. I trust JVL to achieve whatever is necessary. JVL does not usually ask for money. This case for fair process needs more funding.

    This time it is very important that we support JVL as much as we can.

  • DJ says:

    The misnamed Advisory Board on antisemitism is simply a vehicle to drive opponents of Israeli settler colonialism out of the Labour Party. It will also provide the means to expel party members who defend the right of any of their party comrades to express any critical views on the state of Israel at party meetings.

Comments are now closed.