Blow to Corbyn as Labour Finally Adopts Full Anti-Semitism Definition… with Conditions

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn attends anti-semitism inquiry findings at Savoy Place, on June 30, 2016 in London England.The Labour leader said there was no acceptable form of racism as he was speaking after the launch of a report by the former director of Liberary, Shami Chakrabarti. (Photo by Jeff …
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

The UK Labour Party agreed on Tuesday to adopt the full international definition of anti-Semitism in an effort to lay months of public rows and ugly accusations of racism to rest. For now, anyway.

The leftist party will embrace all 11 examples of anti-Semitism cited by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance into its code of conduct, but Jewish groups have already attacked an accompanying statement agreed by the NEC aimed at protecting free speech.

One warned it risked giving “racists a get-out-of-jail card” as some MPs made their thoughts clear on Twitter that the party’s divisions are anything but healed.

In a further blow to party solidarity, leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to withdraw a statement, because he lacked support, which argued it should not be “regarded as anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist.”

Labour Against Antisemitism, which described the “freedom of expression” statement as “a get out of jail card”.

“There can be no caveats, no conditions and no compromises with racism,” a spokesman said.

“The NEC has been told repeatedly that it needs to adopt the IHRA in full, without caveats or conditions, if it wants the Labour Party to begin the process of dealing with its antisemitism crisis.

“It has ignored the requests of the Jewish community and denied the fundamental right of that community to define its own discrimination.”

Labour Friends of Israel echoed the criticism, saying: “A ‘freedom of expression on Israel’ clause is unnecessary and totally undermines the other examples the party has supposedly just adopted.”

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to:



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.