Labour NEC set to expel groups over claims of playing down of antisemitism
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Labour NEC set to expel groups over claims of playing down of antisemitism

Labour Against The Witch-hunt, Labour In Exile and Resist are among those likely be proscribed at Tuesday's meeting of the National Executive Committee

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

A Labour Against the Witchhunt event taking place during the Labour conference 2019, featuring Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson and Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada   (Credit: HOPE not hate/Jewish News)
A Labour Against the Witchhunt event taking place during the Labour conference 2019, featuring Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Chris Williamson and Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada (Credit: HOPE not hate/Jewish News)

Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) is expected to expel four organisation’s from the party over claims they played down allegations of antisemitism and promoted communism.

The Labour Against The Witch-hunt, Labour In Exile and Resist organisations are all set be proscribed at Tuesday’s meeting of the NEC.

A fourth organisation Socialist Appeal is also likely to become a forbidden group.

In a further move, Labour will move to expel anyone who can be shown to be a member of these organisations.

Leader Sir Keir Starmer is said to support the move which has been welcomed by Jewish Labour activists and supporters,

Some reports claimed this could result in up to 1000 people being expelled.

But many members of groups such as Labour In Exile and Labour Against The Witchhunt as already either expelled or suspended by the party.

But those who can be proven to be members of the organisations are also likely to face the prospect of being expelled.

LATW was formed in 2017 under Jeremy Corbyn leadership with a specific goal to challenge what it said were “force and exaggerated allegations of antisemitism.”

The group recently attempted to get Labour members to boycott training sessions run by the Jewish Labour Movement.

The Labour In Exile Network group had stated similar goals.

Resist is a group founded by former Labour MP Chris Williamson – who had previously said the party was “too apologetic” over antisemtism.

Norman Thomas, who founded the Labour In Exile Network, said in a statement: “There is wide agreement Starmer is pretty pathetic at fighting the Tories, but he’s in overdrive when it comes to attacking his own members. He has destroyed democracy in Labour to get rid of the thousands of people who joined after Jeremy Corbyn became leader.”

Socialist Appeal are a group of Labour members who are self-declared Marxists who “work with activists from the Intenational Marxist Tendency.”

Several of the groups are organising a picket of the NEC meeting at Southside, Labour’s headquarters in Victoria, central London, to protest against the proposals.

Former shadow chancelllor John McDonnell was among those who reacted to the news, tweeting: “Standard Blairite fare to try show how strong a leader you are by taking on your own party but bizarre to do it by expelling people, most of whom have left already.

“Looks desperate when what is needed is restoration of whip to Jeremy Corbyn, publication of Ford & taking on Tories.”

A Labour spokesman said: “Labour is a broad, welcoming and democratic party and we are committed to ensuring it stays that way.

“From time to time, there are groups the NEC will proscribe. The NEC will be asked on Tuesday to consider whether these four organisations are compatible with Labour’s rules or our aims and values.”

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