Earlier this week, Louise Ellman was one of two Labour MPs expected to propose a motion at the weekly PLP (parliamentary Labour party) meeting. The motion was ultimately deferred until early September, but constitutes an attempt to manoeuvre Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) into abandoning Labour’s Code of Conduct.
That code endorses the IHRA’s (International Holocaust Remembrance Association) ‘working definition’ of antisemitism – which describes itself as not legally binding, making it unusable as a party rule without clarifications – but, as the ‘working’ title invites, it builds on, clarifies and reinforces it by elaborating on some of the ‘examples’ that experts, including the working definition’s original creator, agree can be used to inhibit legitimate criticism of the behaviour of the Israeli government.
In a week when the Israeli Knesset passed laws that even Israeli supporters have condemned as racist, such clarification should be welcome.
Ms Ellman has also appeared on national television this week to attack the code, saying that many MPs “referred to their own constituents” when voicing their objections during the PLP meeting.
Some of those constituents, including Jewish members, had their say tonight on Labour’s Code of Conduct at the monthly meeting of the Liverpool Riverside CLP (constituency Labour party) of which Ms Ellman is the MP, where a motion supporting Labour’s Code of Conduct had been tabled.
Members voted by more than three to one in support of the motion and therefor in support of Labour’s code.
Ms Ellman is said to have voted on that motion but to have declined to participate in any subsequent votes.
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