It is disturbing to read the EHRC report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, the unlawful acts of harassment and breaches of the Equality Act. This is clearly part of a wider climate of antisemitism in our country including violent acts on individuals and property and Jewish people not feeling able to fully participate in public life due to discrimination.
It is extremely disappointing that some still claim that the problem is exaggerated and have failed to recognise the seriousness of the issue and its impact on confidence. Such organisations as political parties set the climate for public attitudes, public debate and acceptable speech and conduct. It is crucial they acknowledge the pervasive, insidious impact of racism and discrimination towards minority groups; the growing threat of antisemitism; are open to challenge and set a clear unambiguous example.
Harassment, discrimination and crimes motivated by hate feed off particular extremist narratives nurtured, shared and promoted on social media under the cover of ideology and supposed political discourse. It is this climate that sows the division and hostility that impacts the lives and opportunities of so many.
All public institutions, especially political parties, need to stand together in the fight against prejudice and hatred, leave behind denial and obfuscation and appreciate the power they have to set the atmosphere in which people of all backgrounds can live together and prosper. We hope that the Labour Party, and all other political parties and campaign groups, will take note of the EHRC findings and recommendations, in particular around education and training on identifying and tackling antisemitism.