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PA
UK News

Christian wing of Labour party criticises party leadership for anti-Semitism handling

by Cara Bentley

They've also said that a more transparent method of investigating anti-Semitism needs to implemented quickly.

On Thursday they released a statement saying: "We believe that anti-Semitic and racist views and behaviour are unacceptable and have no place in the Labour movement.

"We believe that there needs to be a much clearer and firmer line from the leadership of the party that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated, ignored, or excused.

"We believe the Labour party needs to be more positive about its values and what they mean in practice, and firmer at all levels in dealing with anti-Semitism. We no longer have confidence that existing internal disciplinary processes are fit for purpose.

"In light of recent events, we call on the party leadership not only to challenge and remove all instances of anti-Semitism and racism within the membership, but also to go further and commit to introducing transparent disciplinary procedures and practices, enacted by an independent disciplinary body.

"We have been a proud affiliate of the Labour party over many years and Labour values are central to our organisation. We share the spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect which has always defined our party and believe that it is imperative that this continues to be the case."

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, co-chair of Christians on the Left, Hannah Rich, said they weren't calling on Jeremy Corbyn to resign: "We're saying that the leadership of the party, both Jeremy Corbyn but also the structural leadership of the party needs to be much clearer on condemning anti-semitism and say that it has no place within our party and that it's very much not in line with Labour values that we hold."

She said one of the things the party should implement is for the people who investigative the claims to be indepenedent from the party: "At the moment they are party members who are involved in the committees and party members who are elected and that's okay and but we would want to see that be completely independent from existing party structures."

Hannah Rich added that where members were acting out of line they "should be expelled from the party and should be removed from the party membership but as I said before, that should be done by an independent body so that it would be up to a completely independent people to it to make that decision and to make that judgment call.

"We know there are procedures already in place but we no longer have full confidence in them being fit for purpose to to deal with the problems that we're facing."

When asked if the group would consider splitting if the situation got worse, she responded: "That would be something we would have to consider and further down the line but at the moment we are still an affiliate of the Labour Party, we still hold Labour values very dear to our organisation and there's a long history of Christian socialism...at this stage, we have no intention of disaffiliating."

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