We are still looking to get the letter published if you are a Labour Party member and would like to add your name please email [email protected] giving your name and constituency

The Guardian has refused to publish a letter submitted over a week ago challenging hostile media coverage of the Labour Party, even though it attracted more than 650 signatures from party members in barely 24 hours.

Those who signed, and hundreds more who sent in their names after the noon deadline on Friday April 6, are entitled to ask why the Guardian cannot feature the views of huge numbers of ordinary Party members while devoting so much space to attacking Jeremy Corbyn.

This is especially pertinent today, Monday April 16, as the Parliamentary Labour Party is due to meet this evening for the first time since March 26 and a parliamentary debate about antisemitism is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Tuesday April 17.

We hope that the latter debate will pay ample attention to the virulent antisemitism expressed by friends of the Tory party in this country and across Europe.

To give voice to the silenced Corbyn-supporting members of the Labour Party, we publish below the original letter as submitted to the Guardian.

For clarification, JVL recognises that there is evidence of racist attitudes, including antisemitism, among some party members. This is why we propose, in line with recommendations in the Chakrabarti Report, open debate and discussion combined with non-factional training to help members recognise and deal with prejudices which have no place in an anti-racist party.

We also recognise that we live in a racist society in which many prejudices persist, including towards Jews. This is true within the Labour Party as elsewhere, but we do NOT accept, as widely alleged, that party members are especially susceptible to holding antisemitic views, unconscious or otherwise.

Please share this post widely on social media and invite more Labour Party members to join in demonstrating support for Corbyn’s leadership.

 

ORIGINAL TEXT OF SOLIDARITY LETTER

We are Labour Party members who have watched with growing astonishment and anger as our Party has been traduced with claims of widespread antisemitism. We stand absolutely against any form of discrimination and if there are any in our Party who are guilty of racist attitudes or behaviour then they should be expelled. But such action should only be after due process including evidence and the right to appeal and not through the trial by media which we are currently seeing.

Most importantly we do not accept that the disputed actions of a tiny minority of people in any way represent our Party as a whole and its 570,000 members. Neither do we accept the absurd claim that racist attitudes are widespread but we are somehow unable to recognise them because they are unconscious.  We recognise racism because we have been fighting it for much of our lives and that fight was a key reason for joining our Party in the first place.

The current febrile atmosphere has been encouraged by a hostile right-wing media and by those who seek to damage the Party or its leadership for their own ends. We absolutely reject the gross calumny which is thus being perpetrated against the Party as a whole and the integrity of its members.

There is a great task ahead of us, to re-build and regenerate our society so that all may live with security and dignity.  The cruel legacy of successive governments has left people desperate for change. The Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell can achieve that transformation. Let us make certain that nothing can distract us from this historic opportunity.

Signed by 650+ Labour party members