Lawyer hired by Labour to tackle antisemitism backlog to leave post

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Lawyer hired by Labour to tackle antisemitism backlog to leave post

Jewish barrister Gordon Nardell QC was made the party's in-house counsel in June 2018, but will be returning to private practice in August

Gordon Nardell
Gordon Nardell

The top Jewish barrister hired by the Labour Party to help it tackle a backlog of antisemitism cases is to leave at the end of this month.

Gordon Nardell QC was appointed as the Party’s first in-house counsel in June 2018 but his chambers announced that he would be returning to private practice in August.

Since his appointment he has overseen the expulsion of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of grassroots group Momentum, and the suspension of her most prominent supporter, the MP Chris Williamson.

The timing of Nardell’s return to private practice has been noted, given the ongoing statutory investigation into claims of institutional antisemitism by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

In addition, this week’s anticipated BBC Panorama programme promises to shed new light on political interference in antisemitism cases within the Party, evidenced by leaked messages from former Party employees.

News that Nardell is leaving prompted Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge to call for a change to the system. “Replacing him is no good, because you end up with the system being corrupted by political interference,” she said.

“If he has gone, we should get on and establish a totally independent system that cannot be politicised by anyone. If you want to start re-establishing trust, that is the only way to do it.”

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