Labour NEC backs new ‘independent complaints process’

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Labour NEC backs new ‘independent complaints process’

The move, part of the EHRC's 'action plan' on tackling antisemitism, will involve an independent body of lawyers, HR experts and lay officials

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's online conference.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's online conference.
Labour’s ruling body has backed proposals for a new independent complaints handling process for cases of antisemitism and other forms of discrimination.
The move forms part of the action plan Labour agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after its damning report into the handling of anti-Jewish racism under Jeremy Corbyn.
Jewish News understands that at a meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday evening there was “overwhelming support” for the new system.
No formal vote was taken on the proposals as backing for the changes was almost total.
Only one person on the NEC said they wanted it noted at the lengthy meeting that they were against the moves.
Labour’s Anneliese Dodds, MP and party chair, later said the proposals “will be the fairest, most robust process of any political party that we know of.”
She also said the party would continue to consult with “groups and individuals who have been subject to harassment, abuse and discrimination” before finalising the plans.
The Jewish Labour Movement said they would be “working with Labour, the Jewish community and other Socialist Societies to ensure the new complaints process works as best as possible for our members and all who experience discrimination and harassment in the party.”
It was confirmed that the new process will apply to complaints about antisemitism, Islamophobia, other forms of racism and sexual harassment on the grounds of disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief.
It will also involve complaints on gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, marriage and civil partnership.
The NEC has also approved a proposal to review all decisions regarding complaints about these protected characteristics by a member of a new independent review panel (IRP).
They will decide whether a decision complies with rules, the law, and avoids conflicts of interest.
The Independent Appeals Board (IAB) will replace the role currently taken by Labour’s highest disciplinary body the NCC, in these type of complaints.
The IAB will be comprised from a pool of 12 – four lawyers, four lay members, and four HR experts.
A panel of three – one from each of the listed categories – will hear cases now referred to the new IAB.

These new body will also be able to determine what sanctions ought to apply and will also be brought in to determine appeals brought under party rules.

Labour chair Dodds added:”We are acting decisively to put our house in order and show that Labour is, and always will be, the party of equality.

“We are getting on with the job of making sure Labour is a safe and welcoming space for the benefit of all our members.”


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