JVL Introduction

We had commissioned a commentary on the information contained in Jennie Formby’s release of data on antisemitism in the Labour Party when this article appeared.

So hats off to Skwawkbox — and no need to re-invent the wheel!


cartoon: Skwawkbox


Labour’s antisemitism data release reveals genuine problem – and media exaggeration

A single case of antisemitism in the Labour Party is too many – but figures released by the party show the ‘Labour antisemitism problem’ has been vastly exaggerated – and represents only around 0.1% of its 500,000+ membership

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On Monday night, the Labour Party released statistical data on allegations of antisemitism in the party. It demonstrates the scale of Labour’s efforts to combat antisemitism in the party – and the scale of the exaggeration of the issue by the so-called ‘mainstream media’.

Labour Antisemitism Stats from April 2018

As Jennie Formby told MPs on Monday night, the party under previous general secretary Iain McNicol was not separately classifying complaints of antisemitism. Since April 2018 – just ten days after Formby was appointed to succeed McNicol – the party has kept a specific record.

The total number of complaints in the period since then represents about 0.2% of Labour’s colossal membership:

• 1,106 complaints lodged
• 433 relate to non-Labour members
• 96 members suspended
• 146 written warning
211 served notice of investigation
• 220 had insufficient evidence

Of course, a single case is too many, but even if all complaints had been well founded, they would represent a tiny proportion of the membership – and far below levels of antisemitism in the general population.

But not all complaints were justified. Forty percent of complaints did not relate to Labour members, while another twenty percent amounted to no case to answer.

Sixty percent, therefore, of the proportionally tiny but hugely-publicised ‘Labour antisemitism problem’ either had nothing to do with Labour or was a false or flimsy accusation.

Labour Antisemitism cases dealt with by NEC Disputes Panel

• 44 quit the Labour party before their hearing
• 42 were referred for assessment by the NCC (see below)
• 16 were given a formal warning
• 6 were referred for further investigation
• 25 served a reminder of conduct
• 6 exonerated

Antisemitism cases referred to highest panel (NCC)

Of the cases referred to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), Labour’s highest disciplinary body, after the completion of the investigation into allegations against them:

• 16 received a formal warning from the NEC
• 6 were sanctioned short of expulsion
• 12 have been expelled
• 6 were referred back for further investigation
• 24 are still awaiting the completion of the NCC process

Summaries

Of 1,106 complaints received over the ten months or so since April last year, 961 have been resolved – a rate of about eighteen per week – and 145 remain outstanding, of which 115 have been formally suspended. Twenty-four of those cases have been processed as far as the NCC – and should be dealt with shortly as Labour recently increased the number of NCC members significantly.

Quite rightly, Ms Formby and other staff – and even the party leadership – have no influence over the time the quasi-judicial NCC considers necessary to assess the cases before it.

Eighteen cases resolved per week is a good rate of progress to deal with cases properly.

As Jennie Formby told MPs that only the most recent complaints were still outstanding, the 90 or so cases still pending at a level she can affect will be those most recently received.

Of the cases not dismissed immediately, for lack of evidence or because those involved were not Labour members, approximately:

• one third were cleared
• one third received a formal warning
• a fifth were suspended (some may also appear in other categories)
• one in fourteen quit the party before completion of the disciplinary process
• six out of seven cases have been resolved and only the most recent are pending

(Figures shown do not add up to exactly 100% because of rounding)


SKWAWKBOX comment:

The most obvious conclusions to draw from the figures are that:

99.9% of Labour members have never been accused of antisemitism
– a huge proportion of claims about ‘Labour’ behaviour doesn’t involve Labour members at all
– around a third of complaints that do involve Labour members are so unfounded that they didn’t stand up to the first level of scrutiny
– Labour’s administration under Jennie Formby has made huge inroads into the issue
– most of the old cases that took a long time to deal with were accumulated on former general secretary Iain McNicol’s watch

None of these obvious conclusions are likely to receive a mention in the so-called ‘mainstream media’.


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