LFI vice chair Michael Dugher: Labour must “expel those who perpetrate anti-Semitism”

LFI vice chair Michael Dugher has said  Labour must “root out those people who hold extreme views and expel those who perpetrate anti-Semitism”

In a speech to Young UJIA last night, Michael Dugher said:

“There is a problem of anti-Semitism in some parts of the Labour Party.

“One of the challenges for Labour is that our membership has nearly doubled in the past year. This is to be welcomed. The vast majority of our new members are good, decent people committed to good, decent Labour values like fighting racism, prejudice and inequality. They also want to see our politics done in a better way.

“But we have to be honest that a small minority of our new members have come from the Hard Left. These are people whose politics and view of the world has been on fringes and extremes. And there has always been a problem with anti-Semitism on the Hard Left.

“Firstly, Labour must have the processes, resources and political will to root out those people who hold extreme views and expel those who perpetrate anti-Semitism. I am hopeful that the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry will lead to that and I took great encouragement from Jan Royall’s comments to the JLM.

“Secondly, Labour must educate, inform and engage with all our members, including all our new members, to make sure they properly understand about anti-Semitism – what exactly it is (and what it isn’t) and how it manifests itself. Because it’s clear to me, just looking at some of the reactions to what I say on social media, that there is a huge amount of ignorance out there. We need to have a national programme of political education that is taken out to constituency Labour parties across the country.


“We must recognise the seriousness of the problem – we cannot be in denial. We must be unequivocal in our condemnation. We cannot blame Jeremy Corbyn’s critics or anyone else for the problem we have – the blame for Labour’s anti-Semitism problem lies solely with the anti-Semites themselves. The [Chakrabarti] Inquiry must lead to tough new standards that ensures zero tolerance and swift and severe action against perpetrators.

“Given the condemnation of Mr Livingstone by the Chief Rabbi, the former Chief Rabbi, the Board of Deputies, the Holocaust Education Trust, the Jewish Labour Movement and just as importantly from ordinary Labour members and decent people up and down the country, in my view it is inconceivable that Livingstone not be kicked out of the Labour Party for good. There has been a pattern of behaviour from Mr Livingstone established over many years and there has never been any sign of any ‘demonstrable’ change of views.

“Labour cannot give Livingstone a free pass. To do so would make a mockery of the urgent need to show that Labour is resolute in our determination to stamp out anti-Semitism.”