The new general secretary of the Labour Party, Jennie Formby, has told Opposition MPs that Shami Chakrabarti, author of the party’s controversial 2016 report on anti-Semitism, is to join the national executive committee working group on the issue.
In a private briefing note to MPs ahead of the Commons debate on anti-Semitism, Ms Formby said she and leader Jeremy Corbyn were “determined to eradicate the stain of anti-Semitic attitudes in our Party, and this will be a central priority in my role as general secretary”.
Ms Formby said all constituency party secretaries had been told that “individuals or organisations expressing concern about anti-Semitism must not be criticised for doing so”. She had made the move, she said, following reports that some constituency parties were holding meetings to discuss their MP’s attendance at the Enough is Enough demonstration.
She outlined a variety of steps she was implementing “to help to eliminate the causes of bottlenecks and unnecessary delays” in dealing with various complaints. Labour has now seconded a team of lawyers to support the party’s governance and legal unit to deal with outstanding cases. Ms Formby said: “We must deal with complaints more quickly, more consistently, more efficiently and more robustly”.
Ms Formby, insisting that “anti-Semitism has absolutely no place in our movement, and members and MPs who raise their concerns must not have them dismissed”, pledged to initiate a programme of “specialist anti-Semitism training” in the context of improved training and education for Labour’s membership.