'Labour has been accused by the Board of Deputies of British Jews of “letting off” people accused of antisemitism without sanction, after a leaked draft of the party’s disciplinary process showed that some members can avoid punishment in serious cases where they have apologised and agreed to undergo education.
The Board of Deputies, a leading Jewish organisation, said Labour’s disciplinary processes were still not good enough and appeared too permissive towards antisemites, following the emergence of a draft of the party’s “antisemitism decision-making matrix” from March.
But Labour defended itself, saying all cases were reviewed on the basis of evidence and arguing that it was right to adjust sanctions depending on the member’s acceptance of culpability. It is understood that the party does not treat an apology as an automatically mitigating factor or as a reason for not imposing a sanction.
The matrix, seen by the Guardian, says: “If there is a case to answer that the member has breached the rules, decide whether a) the alleged conduct is too serious to be disciplined with a written warning (ie suspension or expulsion appears appropriate, or b) there is an important dispute of fact. If so, refer to the NCC (unless education appropriate/agreed, and with acknowledgement/apology, is sufficient mitigation).”
It adds: “If the conduct would have been serious enough for referral to the NCC [national constitutional committee] or an NEC [national executive committee] warning but member has acknowledged/apologised and agreed to education, record agreement to education.”
Labour said all cases were reviewed based on the available evidence. A party spokeswoman said: “For example, an individual’s refusal to recognise their wrongdoing is likely to result in a more severe sanction.'
Read more: Jewish leaders accuse Labour of 'letting off' antisemites
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