Ian Austin: Labour must sack any officials who ‘failed’ to tackle antisemitism
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Ian Austin: Labour must sack any officials who ‘failed’ to tackle antisemitism

The chairman of the anti-extremist campaign Mainstream UK unveiled a ten-point checklist for the next Labour leader

Ian Austin (Photo credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire via Jewish News)
Ian Austin (Photo credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire via Jewish News)

The next Labour leader must dismiss any senior officials and members of staff who “failed to deal with antisemitism,” Ian Austin said on Monday.

The former Labour MP quit the party last year after accusing its leadership of failing to tackle alleged antisemitism in the party.

Jeremy Corbyn’s successor, to be elected on 4 April, must dismiss “those who have failed to deal with this issue adequately, from staff in the leader’s office down,” Austin said on Monday.

The chairman of the anti-extremist campaign Mainstream UK unveiled a ten-point checklist for the next Labour leader on Monday to mend relations with the Jewish community.

The process will require more serious action than “a fresh coat of paint on the complaints process and a few cosmetic changes,” he warned.

The next leader must invite back all former Labour MPs and members “hounded out” of the party and ask  either of former MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth to stand as candidates at the next by-election in a Labour-held seat, he said.

Austin demanded a consultation timetable involving all Jewish community bodies to create a new independent complaints process be drawn up in the next leader’s first week.

All candidates running for a seat in Parliament, Holyrood, the Welsh Assembly, on Labour’s ruling body or local councils must adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, he said.

Other demands include an end to the “demonisation and singling out of Israel”, immediate action on well-publicised cases, a “full and unequivocal apology” to the Jewish community, the resolution of all outstanding complaints and for legal action against whistleblowers to be dropped.

Speaking at community hustings in London last month, all Labour leader candidates promised an apology and financial settlement to former staffers who spoke out against the party’s handling of antisemitism cases in the BBC’s Panorama programme, broadcast last year.

Lisa Nandy, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Keir Starmer – and Emily Thornberry, who is no longer in the race – apologised to the Jewish community for the party’s handling of the antisemitism crisis.

They also vowed to implement recommendations made by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission following their investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the party.

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