Making a complaint of antsemitism to the Labour Party
In line with the Action Plan agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the EHRC), the Labour Party is committed to implementing the recommendations as quickly as possible.
What happens when you report antsemitism?
Labour is an anti-racist party and antisemitism is racism. It is unacceptable in our Party and in wider society. To assist in understanding what constitutes antisemitism, the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has endorsed the definition produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016. This reads:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non- Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The IHRA definition captures the idea of hostile conduct towards individuals and institutions on the ground that they are Jewish. In some cases it will be obvious that a member’s conduct falls into this category: for instance, denying or belittling the Holocaust (including accusing Jewish people of inventing or exaggerating it); and repeating familiar antisemitic tropes such as an international “conspiracy” of Jewish interests (the outlook identified long ago as the ‘socialism of fools’) or supposed negative character traits associated with Jewish people. But many cases are less obvious. The Labour Party Code of Conduct on antisemitism gives further information and can be found here.
When you submit a complaint about antisemitism you will use the Labour Party complaints form that can be found at the ‘Make a Complaint’ box at the bottom of the page. When entering details about your complaint it is important that you categorise the complaint as about antisemitism. All complaints are assessed by trained staff so if you have not selected the antisemitism category and your complaint is assessed as relating to antisemitic conduct it will then be categorised as such by the member of staff completing the assessment.
An investigator will be allocated to all complaints of antisemitism and will undertake an investigation into the complaint or conduct which has been alleged. All investigators will have undertaken specific training in investigation and in recognising antisemitism.
Once an investigation is completed into a complaint of antisemitism a report, of the evidence and a recommendation for action will be prepared and submitted to the National Executive Committee (NEC). The committee will then make a decision based on all the evidence and whether they agree with the recommendation. If the complaint involves witnesses and cannot be determined on a written report and accompanying evidence alone, it is likely to be referred to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) for a hearing and determination. If you want to find out more about the roles of the NEC and NCC in deciding disciplinary cases you should review the information provided in the Labour Party rulebook.
We recognise that all complaints involving protected characteristics need to be handled sensitively, with an understanding of what discrimination of this kind means and the impact it can have on the complainant. The following descriptions therefore aim to provide some background information on antisemitism.
Antisemitism is hatred aimed at Jewish people. This can include discrimination against Jewish people, as well as abusive behaviour and bullying. There is a long and cyclical history of antisemitism around the world and Jewish people have seen periods where they have been: blamed, stigmatised, hounded, displaced, attacked and even killed, just for being Jewish.
Antisemitism, like many other hate incidents, has unfortunately been spread by the widespread use of social media and there are many antisemitic conspiracy theories circulating, which are often used to insult, belittle, blame and demonise Jewish people for many different things within our society and government structures.
None of this is acceptable, and such behaviour from Labour Party members will not be tolerated as it does not align with our aims and values. The Labour Party has made a commitment to require all members who are respondents in upheld complaints of antisemitism, to undertake appropriate education or training modules.
Often antisemitic complaints may involve the sharing of recognised tropes. A trope is a figurative or metaphoric representation; a significant or recurrent theme. Some antisemitic tropes will show Jewish people in a negative way: as killers of Christ or of babies, as having power in relation to all significant societal structures, as disloyal or as money grabbing. Another antisemitic trope is that physically, Jewish people are puny, with exaggeratedly large noses.
We understand that people bringing complaints of antisemitism to the Labour Party may feel personally attacked, even if the comments or behaviour weren’t aimed specifically at them. The Labour Party takes antisemitism seriously and deals with it appropriately when it is reported.
Complaints about antisemitic behaviour or conduct often relate to social media posts and these can be aimed at specific people or groups, or presented as a general point of view. We recognise that sharing or re-posting other people’s views, as well as ‘liking’ these views can also give rise to complaints, as it can evidence an alignment with such views.
Organisations that can offer support:
Community Security Trust
Community Security Trust (CST) is a charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism and related threats. CST received charitable status in 1994 and is recognised by police and Government as a unique model of best practice. CST provides security advice and training for Jewish communal organisations, schools and synagogues. CST secures over 650 Jewish communal buildings and approximately 1,000 communal events every year.
If you are reporting an incident of antisemitism to the Labour Party we would encourage you to also report the incident to the CST here or by telephoning 0800 032 3263.
True Vision has been developed so that you can report hate crimes online – you do not have to visit a police station to report. The police take hate crime very seriously and will record and investigate this offence even if you do not want to give your details. You can find further information here.
Citizens Advice provide free, confidential and impartial advice. Their goal is to help everyone find a way forward, whatever problem they face. People go to the Citizens Advice Bureau with all sorts of issues. And they have a range of resources about discrimination and hate crime that you can find here.
Other organisations who can offer support:
Contact with your GP who can help you access support for your mental health and wellbeing.
Samaritans – Offer a safe place for anyone to talk any time they like, in their own way – about whatever’s getting to them. Telephone 116 123
MIND – provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393
Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).
Email: [email protected]
MIND also offer a tool to support you with mental health crisis https://www.mind.org.uk/need-urgent-help/using-this-tool/
If you feel you are at risk of immediate harm please contact 999 in the first instance.
Victim Support – If you’ve been affected by crime, Victim Support can give you the support you need to move forward. Services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened.
Support line: 0808 168 9111