Seven Labour MPs have written to party leader Jeremy Corbyn, demanding that he address the issues raised in a Parliamentary Labour Party motion over antisemitism.
The letter, which also called for a vote on the issue at tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) shadow cabinet, said the MPs were “extremely disappointed that the motion has not been respected. No one from the Leadership presented the information requested.”
It comes after general secretary Jennie Formby set out in an email the steps the party had taken to combat antisemitism, revealing that a mere 12 members had been expelled.
The MPs – Dame Louise Ellman, Dame Margaret Hodge, Luciana Berger, John Mann, Catherine McKinnell, Ruth Smeeth and Wes Streeting – said the response from general secretary Jennie Formby was “incomplete”.
They said it contained only nine months’ worth of information rather than the total number of cases of antisemitism which have been responded to by the Party.
Read the letter in full here: Letter to the Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn MP – 11th Feb 2019
It also noted that “no information has been set out about how much has been spent on external legal counsel on behalf of the NEC [National Executive Committee, the party’s governing body] pursuing disciplinary cases against members”.
The MPs complained that “no information has been provided about which individuals/organisation… commissioned to provide antisemitism training to members who must complete training as a sanction”, and whether all members of the NEC on the antisemitism Disputes Panel have completed antisemitism training.
Nor was their information about how many members who have been through the disciplinary process are waiting to commence antisemitism training or the maximum timescales for responding to members who report instances of antisemitism.
The MPs said it was “not acceptable for the Leadership to have ignored the expressed unanimous view and request of the Parliamentary Labour Party.
“In view of this unresolved situation, we would request that you place these outstanding matters on the agenda for tomorrow’s Shadow Cabinet meeting [Tuesday 12 February] to allow those members of the Shadow Cabinet who supported full disclosure, in accordance with the PLP resolution, to put the matter for discussion and vote at that point.
“With the addition of the backing of the full Shadow Cabinet, the Party should respect the mandate of the PLP’s resolution.
“The failure to respect the request for this simple information does nothing to dispel the accusation that Labour is an institutionally antisemitic organisation.
“We hope that you will reply in writing to the full PLP by 5pm Wednesday 13 February addressing each of the eleven aspects of the PLP resolution in full.”