JLM suspends member who flouted decision to halt antisemitism training
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JLM suspends member who flouted decision to halt antisemitism training

Jewish Labour Movement ordered members to stop giving training following the party's adopting of a new course, but Graham Perry defied the call and the group has taken action

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Gordon Brown speaking at JLM's One Day Conference, where he sounded a warning against antisemitism
Gordon Brown speaking at JLM's One Day Conference, where he sounded a warning against antisemitism

A member of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) has been suspended by the group after repeatedly flouting its decision to halt antisemitism training.

Graham Perry had been providing antisemitism training on behalf of JLM. However he refused to stop after the group announced it would suspend all involvement in training, when it was revealed the party will use a new course devised by Birkbeck College.

He delivered training to the Welsh Labour Conference in April and more recently to the Welsh Assembly Labour Group and First Minister.

Action was taken against Graham after details emerged of his plans to speak at a meeting of Aberconwy Labour Party also addressed by Jewish Voice for Labour co-chair Leah Levene last week – despite a decision taken at JLM’s last AGM for members not to share platforms with the group.

JVL staged a counter-demo to the community’s Enough is Enough demonstration in Parliament Square last year, opposed the adoption of the full IHRA definition with all its examples and senior figures this week backed a letter supporting Chris Williamson. Levene herself had been due to speak in support of now expelled activist Jackie Walker at her disciplinary hearing.

The meeting, entitled ‘Healing the rifts in our party’, was due to discuss how to recognise and deal with antisemitism. Perry was billed as a representative of JLM and Levene as part of a “network of Jewish Labour members with a commitment to anti-racism campaigning”.

The decision to suspend his membership was taken by secretary Peter Mason and he may now appeal to the group’s NEC. A spokesman said: “Action was taken to protect the reputation of the Jewish Labour Movement, and to uphold the collective decisions taken by members at the most recent AGM. We can’t comment on the specific details of any individual member.”

But Perry said: “JLM have tried to damage me by saying that I was speaking on a platform with JVL. It is true that the two branches, without my permission, promoted my meeting on the basis it was JLM v JVL and that I would be speaking alongside JVL. I told JLM in advance of the meeting that it would not happen and it did not happen. I spoke alone, took questions and departed. I made it clear that I was not speaking on behalf of JLM and I did not use any JLM training materials.”

Accused JLM of “letting down Labour-supporting Jes by withdrawing from the fray”, he added: “‘It is one thing for JLM to have deep reservation about the reliability of the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party. It is something quite different for JLM to stop training Labour Party members. We need to go towards the sound of gunfire and give the message on antisemitism, on Israel, on the Middle East, and on the history of antisemitism.”

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