Letter from JLM to Momentum expresses ‘dismay’ at EHRC rule-change opposition
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Letter from JLM to Momentum expresses ‘dismay’ at EHRC rule-change opposition

Jewish Labour Movement accuses the left-wing group of having a 'transactional' attitude to fighting Jew-hate, promoting factionalism over the party's 'legal and moral duties'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

(back row left to right)  Mike Katz, Ruth Smeeth, Adam Langleben, (front row) Margaret Hodge and  Peter Mason, during a press conference by the Jewish Labour Movement at the offices of Mishcon de Reya in London, following the publication of damming anti-Semitism report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
(back row left to right) Mike Katz, Ruth Smeeth, Adam Langleben, (front row) Margaret Hodge and Peter Mason, during a press conference by the Jewish Labour Movement at the offices of Mishcon de Reya in London, following the publication of damming anti-Semitism report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The Jewish Labour Movement has written an angry letter to Momentum expressing “dismay” that it instructed delegates at Labour’s annual conference vote against EHRC-backed antisemitism complaint rule changes.

In a letter sent to Momentum’s co-chairs Gaya Sriskanthan and Andrew Scattergood, JLM demanded to know how Momentum reached their conclusion that the rule changes adopted by Keir Starmer’s party were a “flawed interpretation” of the equality watchdog’s instructions to Labour.

They also tell Momentum that JLM members have been “especially troubled” by attacks mounted on the group’s founder Jon Lansman, who has become “a central target” of attacks by “left antisemites.”

In a letter penned by national chair Mike Katz and national secretary Adam Langleben, Momentum are informed that JLM’s members “were dismayed to read reports that you had instructed delegates to vote against these rule changes.”

The duo add: “Unless you are able to clarify the reasoning behind your instruction to delegates, we can only assume that your commitment to fighting antisemitism in the Party is completely transactional and that you determined to prioritise undermining the current Leadership at the expense of the Party’s legal and moral duties.”

Labour’s conference voted to approve the rule changes, which will see the introduction of an independent complains process by the party next January.

But around 25 per cent of delegates voted down the proposals, despite them being a legal requirement for Labour to adopt.

JLM’s letter to Momentum

The JLM letter also reiterates how Momentum founder Jon Lansman, who has now stepped down from the group, has been the victim of antisemitic attacks himself from some on the left.

“We have been especially troubled by some of the rhetoric on the left regarding your former chair, Jon Lansman,” it is stated.

“He has been a central target of left antisemites for over two years and much of the abuse has been clearly antisemitic in nature.

“We remain dismayed that Momentum have not called any of this out.

“In fact, despite antisemitism remaining a serious problem we do not believe that, under your leadership, Momentum has taken any steps at all at addressing this.

Momentum’s former chief Jon Lansman (Photo Credit: Eli Gaventa)

“Voting against these proposals utterly undermines any claim Momentum may make about wanting to tackle antisemitism in society to see Labour ready to defeat the Tories and elected to Government.”

Asked Momentum’s leadership to confirm themselves that they instructed delegates to vote against the EHRC rule changes at last week’s Brighton conference, JLM’s leaders state “we would like to know what clarification you sought from the EHRC on their view of the proposals, given your justification that the rule changes were a “flawed interpretation” of the Commission’s report?

They also ask: “What interaction you had with Party staff responsible for drawing up the proposals to interrogate their legal soundness and the contact that they had had with the EHRC on the changes?”

And whether Momentum received independent legal advice that informed
the position they took – given that Labour had a legal obligation to meet the EHRC’s recommendation to introduce an independent system.

Jewish News has contacted Momentum for comment.

 

 

 

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