Eight Labour MPs vote against internationally recognised definition of antisemitism

'Unlike the National Executive Committee of the party, the PLP passed the definition without any unnecessary and damaging caveats,' says president of Board of Deputies of British Jews

Harriet Agerholm
Wednesday 05 September 2018 21:45
Comments
Tensions high outside Labour Party headquarters ahead of anti-Semitism meeting

Labour MPs have voted to fully adopt an internationally-recognised definition and examples of antisemitism.

The overwhelming majority of MPs, 205, backed the definition in a secret vote, while eight people opposed the measure and 12 spoiled their ballots.

It comes after Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) agreed to incorporate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including all its examples, into the party’s code of conduct.

The NEC's move was accompanied by a statement saying the party will ensure the changes do “not in any way undermine freedom of expression” on Israel or the rights of Palestinians, a remark that angered Jewish groups.

Jeremy Corbyn was also attacked for his unsuccessful call for the NEC to accept a clarification saying it should not be considered antisemitic to describe Israel as racist.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, welcomed the PLP vote, saying: "We would like to thank the Parliamentary Labour Party which has adopted the full International Holocaust Remembrance Holocaust Alliance definition of anti-Semitism with all of its illustrative examples.

"Unlike the National Executive Committee of the party, the PLP passed the definition without any unnecessary and damaging caveats or addendums."

Dame Margaret Hodge, a Labour backbencher who has publicly criticised Mr Corbyn over antisemitism in the party, said the leader had “sullied” the adoption of the IHRA definition by trying to amend it.

During Prime Minister's questions on Wednesday, Theresa May called on Mr Corbyn to apologise for saying for saying some Zionists do not understand English irony.

"Jewish people living in this country should feel safe and secure and not have to worry about their futures", she said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in