Labour call special meeting of members in Hampstead and Kilburn to discuss anti-semitism

AFTER West Hampstead Phil Rosenberg went public with what happened at last week’s Labour Party meeting of constituency members in Hampstead and Kilburn and his anger that they had not discussed a motion on toughening up measures to tackle anti-semitism, it seems this interesting break in normal etiquette about whether those present should reveal the details of private debates has paid off.

Local organisers have reacted by drawing together a short notice meeting at the Kingsgate Community Centre for next Tuesday evening at which the issue will be aired. Phil, tipped by some to be a future parliamentary candidate, possibly in Finchley and Golders Green, had complained that members were eager and excited to talk about measures to protect Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, but declined to debate a motion from the Jewish Labour Movement. Those who feel nothing untoward happened last week, with the view that the party should not be pre-empting the Chakrabarti inquiry currently investigating racism within the party, in turn suggest the to and fro of the last few days shows the way to get what you want in Hampstead and Kilburn, and switch the agenda, is to go off and write a public blog.

Either way, next week’s meeting will now be a ‘single topic’ meeting on anti-semitism and racism, with the constituency looking now to agree a submission to Chakrabarti. Constituency secretary Peter Taheri tells members in a circular announcing the special meeting: “The Hampstead and Kilburn Constituency Labour Party is unapologetically, unequivocally and without reservation opposed to racism of all forms. This is not up for debate. It is crucial not just that we hold this position but also that we do everything in our power to leave no room for perception to the contrary.”

He adds: “It is expected that the Jewish Labour Movement will wish to address the meeting and, as  with any affiliated organisation or representative group, they must be heard with courtesy and respect. Our party needs to come together in reaching an understanding of the challenges we face and what we need to do if we wish all our communities and certain that they are always welcome within our Labour Party (as they must always be welcome).”

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