Jeremy Corbyn avoided reporters as he entered the Labour headquarters ahead of the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) vote on antisemitism guidelines.
The NEC are meeting today (September 4) to discuss whether to accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
Corbyn arrived by car outside the headquarters, and was asked by talkRADIO’s political editor Ross Kempsell if the party would be adopting the full definition.
He remained silent as he entered the building.
Current definition altered
The IHRA document contains 11 examples of antisemitism that are not legally binding, and intended for guidance.
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The current code adopted by the Labour Party alters four points from the IHRA definition: namely, accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, requiring of Israel a behaviour that would not be required of any other nation, denying Jewish people a right to self-determination by claiming Israel is a racist endeavour, and comparing Israel’s policies to the Nazis.
'Freedom of speech must be preserved'
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Chris Williamson MP, who has previously defended Corbyn, also spoke to reporters outside the headquarters, and said he thought it was “likely” the NEC would accept the full IHRA definition, “but add a rider to ensure freedom of speech is preserved”.
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“I think the important thing is that we stand up for the Jewish community, that we stand up for the Palestinian community. We fight bigotry and racism in all its forms,” he said.
He added that a caveat about freedom of speech should be included “ to make it clear that it will be acceptable to continue to criticise Netanyahu’s apartheid regime”.