The Jewish Labour Movement’s vice-chair has expressed “dismay” at the decision not to debate its proposed rule change to tackle anti-Semitism at this year’s party conference.
In a landmark speech on the main conference floor, Mike Katz said the perception of Labour within the community made him “weep” though he acknowledged the “action” taken by the leadership including the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report.
It comes after the national executive committee last week decided only to “note” the proposals – which would make it easier to expel those responsible for anti-Semitism and other forms of racism – with the likelihood it won’t now come before conference until next year.
It was a “let down” that it will be another 12 months before “we can signal to our members that we’re serious about dealing with the problems. We shouldn’t have to wait another year. It should be now”. He said it was up to everyone in the party, from top down, to redouble efforts against anti-Semitism, racism and misogyny.
He added: “Jeremy has said it. Tom has said it. There’s no room for this in our party.”
And he received a huge standing ovation as he told conference: “We’re not going anywhere. We’ll work with our members, CLPs, MPs to show Jews, like all minority community, are welcome in Labour.”
He told the gathering that the prolonged applause meant a lot to “the community”.
Watch our video report from one of the key communal events at this year’s conference in Liverpool: