The general secretary of the USDAW union has urged Labour to “immediately” adopt all the examples accompanying the international definition of immediately.
Paddy Lillis follows Dave Prentis of UNISON and Tim Roach of GMB in demanding a reversal of the party’s position.
The bakers union had reportedly Called for Labour to stick to the current code of conduct that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition but without four of its 12 examples. But Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers), like the other unions, has two places on the national executive committee, making it increasingly likely those demanding change will have the numbers to push it through.
Lillis told Jewish News: “In my 40 years of Labour membership and activism I have been proud to be a part of an anti-racist party and I am now shocked by the situation we find ourselves in today.
“Jeremy Corbyn has clearly stated that there is a problem with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and he is right in his determination to tackle it. If we are to do that it is essential that the Party regains the trust of Jewish communities. As a first step we should immediately amend the Code of Conduct to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, including the examples.
“We need a Labour government for very many reasons. Our members are severely impacted by austerity, with many struggling with the cost of living. The retail sector is in crisis and the Conservatives have no strategy to support town centres or save shopworkers’ jobs. The Labour Party manifesto can deliver real and much needed change for this country and we must unite in delivering that.
“There is absolutely no place for antisemitism in the Labour Party. We need to show just as much strength in opposing anti-Semitism as we do in opposing all racism and other forms of hate.”
Jewish News revealed earlier this week that Jon Lansman, the Momentum founder and key Corbyn ally, was lobbying the leadership to accept the full IHRA with all the examples to begin rebuilding trust with British Jews. At the same time he backed the code of conduct he previously described as a “gold standard” to increase chances of tackling members engaged in behaviour IHRA described as possibly anti-Semitic.
This newspaper also reported that Corbyn was ready to accept three of the four missing examples. But he remained of the belief that the allegation that labelling Israel a ‘racist endeavour’ could be used to limit criticism of Israel.
Jewish leaders have made clear that there can be no negotiation on IHRA.