London Councils urge boroughs to adopt IHRA antisemitism definition
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London Councils urge boroughs to adopt IHRA antisemitism definition

Leader’s Committee of London Councils calls on local bodies to back the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism

An example of a local authority's debating chamber. (Bradford Council Chamber)
An example of a local authority's debating chamber. (Bradford Council Chamber)

The Leader’s Committee of London Councils has urged London boroughs that have not yet accepted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism to adopt it.

It comes after a meeting of the influential body on Tuesday, in which all boroughs were urged to adopt the IHRA definition together with its working examples and to include it within councils’ constitutions and codes of conduct.

In December 2017, then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote to councils urging them to “strongly consider” adopting the IHRA definition in full. Since then, 18 councils are understood to have done so. There are 32 boroughs in London, plus the City of London.

At the meeting, committee members were presented with a draft motion for councils to adopt the definition, which had been prepared by Local Government Friends of Israel – a group set up in 2015 to combat boycott attempts and build bridges between British and Israeli authorities.

Gillian Merron, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said she welcomed the decision, adding: “We have found the London Councils umbrella body to be constructive allies in confronting the challenge of antisemitism.”

She said the body’s support “shows that London’s local authority leaders from across the political spectrum are treating the issue with due seriousness”.

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