Exclusive: Jon Lansman lodges motion to allow NEC to expel antisemites

Exclusive: Jon Lansman lodges motion to allow NEC to expel antisemites

Initiative from the prominent Jewish Corbyn ally would give the NEC expulsion powers in cases of flagrant Jew-hate and is due to be discussed tomorrow.

Momentum chief Jon Lansman  (Photo Credit: Eli Gaventa)
Momentum chief Jon Lansman (Photo Credit: Eli Gaventa)

Jon Lansman is urging Labour to change its rules to enable its governing body to expel antisemites.

Jewish News understands that the Momentum founder has submitted a motion ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the National Executive Committee that would give it expulsion powers in cases of flagrant antisemitism.

News of the move emerged as the shadow cabinet prepares to hold a special meeting to discuss the antisemitism crisis, following widespread anger at allegations of political interference in antisemitism cases. Whistleblowers who spoke to the BBC’s Panorama are still facing legal threats after they broke non-disclosure agreements to speak out.

Currently the NEC cannot expel members accused of antisemitism. It must instead refer such cases to the National Constitutional Committee, triggering a lengthy and often legal process. Last month, a three-person panel failed to pass the case of Chris Williamson up to the NCC, allowing him briefly back into the party.

The rule-change, if adopted, would let the NEC expel Labour members “where there is clear evidence of antisemitism or prejudicial hatred”.

It is understood that Lansman’s motion – one of several tabled on antisemitism in the wake of a damning BBC Panorama documentary – calls for “fresh thinking on our disciplinary rules” as well as “other new responses”.

Last month, Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown and deputy leader Tom Watson who earlier this month urged Labour to streamline its ability to expel antisemites.

The motion is also understood to call for the Party’s Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) to make decisions regarding investigations, suspensions and hearings “without any external interference”.

Several Labour staffers, many of whom were charged with investigating cases of antisemitism, alleged political interference from Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle, which Labour denies. Lansman’s motion is believed to call for a new NEC Whistleblowing Policy.

The proposal doesn’t go as far as calls from deputy leader Tom Watson for the automatic expulsion of those “who have a prima facie case to answer of using antisemitic behaviours and language,” without referring cases to the NCC.

This month Watson also called for “a fully independent” complaints-handling process that involved members of the Jewish community.

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