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No evidence of “institutional antisemitism” in Labour Club

Baroness Royall’s Inquiry into the alleged antisemitism in the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) has found no evidence of “institutional antisemitism” in the Club. A set of recommendations meant to have “a positive impact, not only on OULC, but on Labour clubs and the Labour Party more generally,” was also produced.

Controversially, however, the details of alleged individuals incidents of antimsemitism in OULC have been withheld from publication in the report. The full details of the investigation into the individual instances of antisemitism are expected to be published in the coming months as part of the Chakrabarti report.

Reports that the full content of Royall’s report was supressed by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) are as yet unconfirmed.

In the report’s executive summary, Royall notes that there are certain cultural problems at OULC which “must be addressed to ensure a safe space for all Labour students to debate and campaign.”

According to Baroness Royall, an effective response to these cultural problems would involve training sessions being organised to enable officers of Labour Clubs to fight against antisemitism within their circle. The report also encourages OULC to establish a clear system of reporting for incidents of antisemitism and racism more generally.

Royall adds that this system of reporting should include the ability to make an appeal directly to the Labour Party NEC.

The exclusion of students and other supporters from membership of the Party as punishment for being found guilty of antisemitism is, however, not perceived as an appropriate measure by the report.

OULC gave its answer to the reports this afternoon, qualifying antisemitism as “abhorrent, repugnant and contrary to the values we as a Club hold dear.” The new co-chairs of the club welcome Baroness Royall’s recommendations and say they “look forward to collaborating with her and the national Labour Party in moving forward from these events.”

The statement from the OULC co-Chairs continues, “We will enthusiastically work with all national Labour Party officers to deal with all the complaints made against the Club. We will move to affiliate to the Jewish Labour Movement as a gesture of our solidarity with Jewish people and vigorously support the 8-point plan to eradicate anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.”

The reports presented to the NEC stated that considering antisemitism in OULC inevitably leads to the same considerations regarding the entire Party, which has recently struggled with allegations of antisemitism against prominent members. “No form of antisemitism or racism is acceptable, including being used as a factional political tool,” Baroness Royall concludes in the executive summary.

The resignation of Alex Chalmers as OULC co-Chair in February brought anti-semitism in the Labour Party to light.
The resignation of Alex Chalmers as OULC co-Chair in February brought anti-semitism in the Labour Party to light.

Concerns about anti-semitism within the Club were initially raised following the resignation ofOULC former co-chair Alex Chalmers, who claimed that many members and Oxford students in general had “some kind of problem with Jews”.

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