Antisemitic smears against Jenny Formby refuted by Unite

Unite confirm that a statement issued on 1st March by Labour Against Anti-semitism (LAAS) is a malicious smear against Jennie Formby. A JVL statement was added to this post on 2nd March, as was a Free Speech on Israel statement on 4th March.




A Jewish Voice for Labour statement in reponse to Labour Against Antisemitism accusing Jennie Formby of antisemitism.

Ms Formby is someone who stands for equality and fairness for all, and against all forms of racism. It is certainly true that she, along with all those who believe in human rights and justice, has stood up for the rights of Palestinians and has criticised the actions of Israel towards Palestinians. But there should be no conflation of antisemitism with criticism of the Israeli State.

We support Jennie Formby against such unfounded attacks and wish her the best in her application to become the General Secretary of the Labour Party.

The ever over-zealous Labour Campaign Against Antisemitism has accused Jenny Formby, NEC member and candidate for the post of General Secretary, of antisemitism. It claims that she “was reportedly forced to leave her role as Political Director of Unite the Union in 2016, after making antisemitic comments regarding the suitability of Baroness Royall to conduct an NEC inquiry into alleged antisemitism among Labour students at Oxford University. Ms Formby apparently referred to Baroness Royall’s purported membership of Labour Friends of Israel and a trip to Israel as reasons for her unsuitability for the role.”

As Unite point out this is a smear. Here is the statement issued by Unite:

Free Speeech on Israel also posted a statement on the smears against Jennie Formby on 3rd March We repost it here:

Malicious smears against Labour Party General Secretary candidate Jennie Formby

Jennie Formby

Free Speech on Israel welcomes the statement from Unite defending the union’s South-East Regional Secretary Jennie Formby against antisemitism allegations.

Accusations levelled against Jennie Formby by the group calling itself Labour Against Anti-Semitism are just the latest in its campaign of malicious and baseless charges targeting the Labour Left.

LAAS was created and exists for the sole purpose of suppressing criticism of the state of Israel for its crimes against the people of Palestine. Its smearing tactics have nothing to do with combatting real antisemitism – hostility, prejudice or discrimination against Jews because they are Jews. They expose their malicious intent by citing a definition of antisemitism which has been discredited for conflating criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews, thereby endangering free speech for those campaigning for justice for Palestinians.

In attacking Jennie Formby LAAS are vilifying a committed anti-racist campaigner.
They are also deliberately trying to disrupt the important process of appointing a new general secretary of the Labour Party – a role Jennie Formby is eminently qualified to fill.

Comments (2)

  • Ann Jungman says:

    I hate the ruthless way anti-Semitism is being used as a political football,. Vicious smears that have little or nothing to do with racial/religious prejudice and everything to do with destroying people who support.the Palestinian cause.

    Apart from being dishonest and distorting, the endless cries of “Anti-Semitism”, will create antagonisms that did not exist previously and the term will end up being meaningless.

  • Colm Doherty says:

    Very well said Ann. Their actions are very dangerous and make no attempt to tackle real anti-Semitism only protection of Israel, it seems at the expense of real anti racists.

Comments are now closed.