Labour parliamentarians have written to Jeremy Corbyn this week urging him to join them in persuading the NEC to overturn its decision to boycott G4S.
Following an unscheduled intervention by UNITE political director Jennie Formby, the party’s governing body last month voted to bar G4S from providing security at Labour’s annual conference because of the company’s work in Israel and the West Bank.
In their letter, the group of MPs and peers – which included Ian Austin, Louise Ellman, Ivan Lewis, Joan Ryan, Ruth Smeeth, John Spellar, Wes Streeting and John Woodcock MP – reiterated Labour’s longstanding policy of opposition to boycotts, stressing that such activities “seek to deligitimise Israel and do nothing to further the cause of peace, coexistence or further a two-state solution”.
Other signatories include Trade Union Friends of Israel chair Michael Leahy and his predecessor, Roger Lyons, as well as Lord Mendelsohn, a frontbencher in the Lords, Lord Clarke of Hampstead and Baroness Ramsay.
Last week, Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee – which deals with the practicalities of the annual conference – rejected the NEC’s decision on the basis that it would leave only one contractor capable of bidding for the security contract and expose the party to being charged an excessive fee. The decision has been referred back to the NEC and will be voted on at its next meeting on 26 January.
Click here to read the report from the Jewish Chronicle : http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/150581/labour-mps-urge-jeremy-corbyn-overturn-g4s-boycott
Please read below the letter sent to Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday:
We write to express our deep concern at the NEC’s recent decision to boycott G4S as a provider of security for Labour’s annual conference over its involvement with Israel.
We note that, whatever the more recent protestations of some of those who supported the decision at the meeting, it was touted as a boycott by its proponents and has been claimed as a victory by the BDS movement.
The Labour Party has had a consistent policy of opposition to boycotts. We believe that they are both wrong in principle and seek to delegitimise Israel, but also do nothing to further the cause of peace, coexistence or further a two-state solution. We cannot see how the NEC’s decision does anything other than contravene Labour’s long-standing position on this matter.
We are also disturbed that the decision appears to have taken by a snap vote, with the support of little more than one-third of the NEC’s members and without the submission of a proper motion.
As leader of our party, we hope that you will join with us in asking the NEC to urgently review and overturn this decision.
Rt Hon Joan Ryan MP
Chair, Labour Friends of Israel
Ian Austin MP
Lord Clarke of Hampstead
Louise Ellman MP
Michael Leahy OBE
Ivan Lewis MP
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
Rt Hon Joan Ryan MP
Ruth Smeeth MP
Rt Hon John Spellar MP
Wes Streeting MP
John Woodcock MP
Take Action Now! Show your opposition to boycotts and join the campaign coordinated by We Believe in Israel to help overturn the NEC’s decision: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1050714594973773&id=191388894239685