Wimbledon CLP (constituency Labour party) last night voted to support Labour’s Code of Conduct and to reject attempts to adopt wholesale the examples in the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) ‘working definition’ of antisemitism.
The vote – by twenty-five to nineteen with a single abstention – by delegates from branches and affiliates came after a presentation by visiting speaker Glyn Secker of JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour) in favour of the code.
The Jewish Labour Movement’s Adam Langleben was scheduled to speak for the full adoption of the IHRA examples, but delegates were told only at the start of the meeting that he had cancelled his attendance because he had refused to share a platform with a JVL representative. Locals say that two CLP members were forced to fill in and argue the opposing side of the debate before the vote.
Langleben has been vocal in alleging an antisemitism issue in the Labour Party and blamed the party after he lost of his seat on Barnet council in May’s local elections, in spite of a 2.7% increase Labour vote-share in the borough.
Secker told the SKWAWKBOX:
In the end, I had to almost present both sides of the argument because of the absence of a speaker in favour of the IHRA motion – I did my best to give a very fair presentation of the definition and how it spoke to my situation as a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust. Then I went through the reasons it doesn’t work, presenting the comments of Sedley and Tomlinson.
At that point, one of the members said she wanted to speak and in the final sum-up she spoke again, so there were essentially three speakers for the IHRA, but in the end the delegates were clear in what they wanted and it was reflected in the vote.
The Labour Party has adopted the full IHRA working definition, but has amended or clarified some of the examples where these would result in a lack of legal clarity, create a risk of suppressed free speech on the policies and actions of the Israeli government, or compromise the ability of Palestinians to speak about their situation.
The SKWAWKBOX was unable to find contact details for Adam Langleben to invite him to comment.
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