Independent thinking

I have been a member of the Labour Party for 27 years, and would have much preferred to have stayed a member for the foreseeable future. I’d like to be, at this moment, a member of a Labour Party heading for victory locally and nationally. Leaving it, as I have done, feels like leaving a family. Yet for too long I haven’t felt welcome, have found the atmosphere hostile, and the decisions taken hard to live with. I will always have friends in the family, but it feels like the family has grown apart.

Clearly, I am not alone. MPs, fellow councillors, other Party members and, if the polls are right, a significant number of voters feel the same. What do we do? Should we remain politically voiceless and homeless? Should we join the Lib Dems, Greens or Renew? Will Labour ever return to sense and electability? How do we best prevent a slide to a Boris Johnson-led and increasingly right wing Conservative Government without supporting a Corbyn-led Labour Party with all it entails?

A dozen MPs in the Commons have taken the brave – or traitorous/foolhardy depending on your view – step of leaving their Party and joining The Independent Group. It isn’t yet a political party, has no headquarters and staff, no leader or “big beasts”, few policy positions and, as Jonathan Freedland says, a whole list of reasons why the odds are stacked against it’s survival.

In the less-than-a-week since it was set up, there have been a hundred hot takes published on why, like the SDP before it, this new enterprise will surely fail, broken by the mould of first past the post, tribal loyalties, the trades unions, Brexit supporting Midlands towns and much else besides.

The Independent Group is a blank sheet of paper, to be written on by those who join it. It will have contradictions and difficulties, not least of which is what unites it after Brexit either happens or is blocked in another referendum. It isnt the SDP reincarnate, not least because both the Conservatives and Labour have each fallen under the control of their extremes, the grip of traditional media has been loosened by the freedom of social media, and tribal loyalties are far weaker than thirty years ago.

Even then, the emergent alternative to Labour and the Tories commanded, for a period before the shock of war in the South Atlantic, a fifty per cent share of support in the polls. Then as now, there is an appetite, or at least a space, for a new party. There’s a vacuum in politics that needs to be filled, somehow.

Much has and will be written about the social and economic stance of whatever emerges, and whether it will be the right mix to fill that space. Comparisons will be drawn with parties past and present, in the UK and elsewhere. For a lot of voters though, that isnt going to matter too much. They will decide if it is something that isn’t threatening, is something they can live with or maybe invest a bit of hope in at a time of national crisis where leadership is unprecedentedly poor. It will be heart as much as head, negative as much as positive. Voters will coalesce around something that seems competent and secure. The shouting of the ERG Brexit fanatics and Corbyn cultists is appealing to some, a huge turn-off to many whose first concern is, “will this be good or bad for my family and community?

The lesson of Trump, Corbyn and Brexit is that hard and fast rules no longer apply, if they ever did. Only a fool would stake their savings on this new group succeeding – or failing. The coming two months will be crucial as events around Brexit unfold, ongoing tensions and splits in Labour play out, and Independent Group grows in numbers or support. May’s locals and any other elections, with or without new party candidates, will have an effect.

This new grouping could go on to hold power in a majority or minority government, or coalition. It could become a smaller presence in the Commons and local government. It could, as the SDP arguably did, have a gravitational pull on both parties back towards that sense and electability that people who see themselves as “centre ground” want from their politicians.

I don’t want to be part of any elections that pit me against former colleagues, and hopefully current friends, who are staying on in Labour. But nor do I want to rule out being able to serve in elected public office again.

For me, if I am no longer welcome in Labour, if Labour’s toxic culture, antisemitism and Brexit position mean I can’t deliver positive change from within it, then I and others will have to find another way. So for now, I’m backing the Independent Group. If I can help shape it, great. If it provides a political home for voters with nowhere else to go, even better. If it exerts a positive and reforming influence on Labour, fantastic. If Labour fails, it may be the best hope we have.

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Filling the void: is there any room for hope?

Britain’s politics, and not just its political parties, is coming apart. Divides have opened, positions have polarised, gaps have opened up. The consensus underpinning our debate and our institutions is under immense strain. Antisemitism, and the elections to Labour’s ruling National Executive, have brought that into sharp relief.

Neither the Labour Party nor the Conservative Party have any unquestionable, absolute right to exist in their current form and as one half of the political duopoly. That the SDP and the Lib Dems failed to break the hold of these two parties over the last thirty years is no definitive guide to the next thirty years, or indeed the next thirty months.

In late 1981, at a time when party loyalty was far greater than it is now, the SDP commanded the support of between 40 and 50% in polls. The SDP/Liberal Alliance came within 1% of Michael Foot’s Labour at the 1983 General Election. The electoral system prevented an Alliance breakthrough in seats, but Labour itself demonstrated in the 1920s that the duopoly could be challenged, not by adding a third party but by replacing one already there. Ultimately the SDP failed because Labour under Kinnock and his successors moved Labour back to the territory they had ceded almost a decade earlier, and away from the Militant left wing groupings he famously and passionately denounced in Bornemouth.

With current polls showing the Tories on around 40%, Labour a few percent behind, and the Lib Dems in the low teens, a potential new party could in theory shave 10% from the Tories, 10 to 15% from Labour and the majority of Lib Dem support, to put it on around 30%, level pegging with the two established parties. That in itself would probably not be enough to win enough safe Tory or Labour seats to challenge for power at a General Election. It would certainly be enough to secure a parliamentary presence significant enough to be a likely coalition partner.

What may be harder to quantify or predict, but which may be crucial to the success of any potential new party, would be the degree of support from those currently choosing none of the options presently on offer. 36% currently give “don’t know” as their choice for preferred Prime Minister. How many voters are expressing a reluctant choice, hoping for something different? Of course they are unlikely to be a homogenous group looking for the same thing in a political party. We saw that with the appeal of UKIP.

Sceptics of a new party say it is doomed to fail without a distinct and positive offer; I would agree up to a point. However thirty years of knocking on doors has taught me that many voters make a “negative choice”, often placing their cross in the box not because they are devotees of that party’s ideology or platform, but to “keep the other lot out”. The 1987 General Election question posed by the SDP/Liberal Alliance on leaflets was “caught between the (red) devil and the deep blue C?”, and there is little doubt many voters feel the choice is at present one between the lesser of two evils.

Most voters are not political devotees, statistically few are party members. They may agree on priorities though not necessarily solutions. They are likely to shy away from ideology, and are unlikely to identify as “working class” in a way the Morning Star might like. They want their kids educated and given better opportunities than they were, they want their parents cared for and the health and social care system to deliver when needed. They want bins collected, streets kept clean and the transport systems to function at least adequately. They want to get on with their lives in the knowledge that somebody relatively trustworthy, reliable and competent is keeping things going and, where possible, to make things better. The utopian ideal is not in our national psyche.

With Labour now firmly in the grip of the Left and essentially now a narrow Socialist Party, and the Tories increasingly in thrall to the hard-Brexit right of Johnson, Rees-Mogg and the UKIP entryists, a significant gap in British politics is opening up. It is wrong to describe it in terms of left wing, right wing and centrist. This is a battle between populists and pragmatists, between closed and open politics, between ideological prescriptions and a belief in “what works”.

To illustrate the gap in terms of politicians you could say it is a space occupied elsewhere by Macron and Merkel, or in the past by Blair and Obama. Popular but not populist, principled but not dogmatic. A Trudeau not a Trump. You don’t have to support every policy of these leaders or their parties to see the political space they occupy, not in the left/right spectrum but the progressive/pragmatic/popular versus reactionary/ideological/populist one.

There is now a clear space in British politics for a party offering opportunity for all regardless of background, fairness in our society and our economy, with taxes funding the services and infrastructure that both individuals and businesses rely on to exist and prosper. One that can deliver practical solutions on challenges like social care and local government finance, and clear but fair rules on migration. It would be open to European and global relationships, not fearful of them.

It would support intervention and investment by the state in health, education, transport and more with a clear vision on why and how that investment benefits all. Markets would be supported and encouraged to allow maximum opportunity and fair competition, with a vibrant community, co-operative, mutual sector. It would be robustly anti-racist with a foundation in British values of respect and again a clearly communicated message on how different communities add value to the nation and are an essential part of it. It will need a clear position on Brexit, but not be defined by it.

Managerial? Perhaps, but don’t underestimate the appeal of “what works”. Ideologically rootless? Not necessarily, there are many traditions other than hard-boiled capitalism and doctrinaire socialism to draw from. It wouldn’t capture the UKIP vote, or inspire the devotion of Corbynism. Like En Marche it may succeed because it was neither the status quo nor the unplatable alternative on offer. Whether Macron’s movement survives is another matter.

There’s no doubt that the global crash ten years ago has given rise to populism. That said, the argument that Corbyn’s Socialist Labour is the only party of the left doing well in Europe, because it has taken a more radical shift, is not borne out by the evidence. Similar left wing parties in France under Melenchon and Germany’s Die Linke poll at around Lib Dem levels of support. More social democratic-style parties hold power in Spain and Portugal.

I joined the Labour Party and have devoted half my life to it because I was persuaded it offered these things, could deliver on fairness, equality of opportunity, and social justice. It occupied that progressive, not centrist space. It’s clear now it no longer does. Labour now defines itself as Corbynites or Tories, Socialists or “neoliberals”, anti-imperialists or “globalists”, pro-Palestinian or pro-Israel. Binary choices rather than a broad church. Faced with these absolutes, I can no longer actively support Labour in its current form.

I wish Labour were again able to offer broad appeal. The people who need a progressive, pragmatic, popular government can’t afford to wait ten or twenty years for Labour “sensibles” to regain control of the party, if they ever can. Challenges and crises, domestic and foreign, none more so than the impact of Brexit, are urgent and immediate.

If these things were once again on offer from Labour, a new party, or by some grouping from within the Labour Party (and possibly others) in Parliament, then it would have my support, for what its worth. I think the potential for much broader support is very real. People want answers relevant to the challenges of the modern world, not a return to old solutions, be it renationalisation or “taking back control”. Some hope for a forward-looking, progressive politics; is that too much to hope for?

(If your publication or website needs content like this, please contact me at warren.morgan@hotmail.com)

Either In Or Out…

In response to a slew of articles over the summer speculating on a split in Labour or some realignment of the centre ground in British politics, most recently and with authority by Stephen Bush in the New Statesman, Corbynite cheerleader Paul Mason tweets that there is “plenty of room in Corbyn’s Labour for centrist social democrats and Remain die-hards”.

This will come as a bit of a shock to those of us who have been told over the past three years or so that we are not truly Labour, that centrism, “neo-liberalism” and pretty much anything associated with the past thirty years of Labour has now been superceded, replaced by the new Left. We are all “Blairites” and have no place in the Party. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told, mostly online but occasionally in meetings and elsewhere, to “**** off and join the Tories”. In the binary world of the alt Left, if you are not backing Jeremy then you are by default a Tory.

Now I’m not about to join the speculation on whether some new Party, breakaway group or mass defection is about to happen, and if so what its prospects are. I think anyone who says it will be a disastrous repeat of the SDP, or a British En Marche sweeping all before it, is forgetting the fate of pundits who predicted the outcome of the EU Referendum or the last US Presidential election. Normal rules don’t apply any more. The electoral system here counts against third parties, up until the point where their support is broad enough, large enough and evenly spread, in which case it counts in their favour. Then again, who knows what the offer of a new party, beyond not being the Boris or Jeremy fan clubs, would be.

My point here is that the entire Corbyn project has been based on the assumption that the British public, despite telling pollsters that they identify with the centre ground, have been waiting for a full-blooded Socialist alternative in place of the anaemic version Labour offered in 2010 and 2015, and certainly the “neo-liberal” Blairite New Labour project the Corbynites despise so much. Thats the one that delivered three terms in power, massive redistribution, a huge alleviation in poverty, a near total elimination of rough sleeping and so on, but I digress.

Corbynites believed Labour was diluting it’s appeal by being a broad church, and that voters would get behind a much more ideologically based, clearly socialist manifesto.

The stated belief has been that the popular, left wing platform put forward by Corbyn (lets skip over the fact that his 2015 manifesto somehow left in the planned Tory welfare cuts) would sweep all before it. What Corbynism has been presented as is a revolution under the Labour banner, not an evolution of what went before.

Thousands of new members, an end to Blairism, spin and neo-liberal policy. Anyone associated with New Labour can do one. Blairites, they have argued, are responsible for losing millions of votes built up under Kinnock, Smith and, er Blair. After of course Militant was seen off in the 80s, though veterans of that battle of blame the SDP for the defeats of that decade, not the rejection of Bennite policies.

Yet it is strange how fragile and vulnerable this movement apparently is. That it has failed to build any kind of consistent lead in the polls or indeed win an election against the weakest Tory government in living memory, despite having significant advantages in terms of finances and activists, is blamed on a wide range of factors. The Tory press and the biased mainstream media. The “enemies within” failing to get behind the Leader (who himself has an unparallelled three decade record of not getting behind the leader), and most hilariously people like me with a few thousand followers on Twitter somehow fatally undermining the whole thing. More worryingly, some Corbyn extremists, in the cesspits of the Corbynista Facebook groups with tens of thousands of members, point the finger at shadowy Jewish conspiracies. Ironically, few recognise their own antisemitism or the toxic effect it has on Labour support.

Suddenly, faced with this media speculation of MPs actually leaving after years of being told to go and that they face deselection if they don’t, Corbyn’s media tribunes are starting to panic, talking about “splitting the vote” as if it is some monolithic slab (Ed Stone anyone?) rather than a fluid and unpredictable pool. These are the same people, in many cases, who in 2015 were “splitting the vote” by running as Green or TUSC candidates against Labour.

Voters are not a set of homogenous groups. Fewer and fewer have the kinds of tribal loyalties that held fast in the post-war years. They treat politics like they treat much else, as consumers making a choice between what’s on offer. That might be a positive choice in favour of the Socialist Corbynite offer, it might be a negative choice in terms of not being a huge fan of either but backing the lesser of two evils. The regular “preferred Prime Minister” polls that show a healthy lead for Don’t Know ahead of May and, in third place Corbyn, are perhaps an indicator of the public really not seeing anything they much like on offer.

Whether this translates into an opportunity for a new party to fill a vacuum I will leave to others to discuss. This is about the strength of the Corbynite offer, and whether Labour is now a closed and narrow Socialist party or an open, progressive broad church on the left/centre left of British politics. Whether they form a new party, or just leave, if the Corbyn offer is so strong, just let them go without the cries of “traitor”.

After three years seizing control of the Party at every level, and vicious hostility to those not seen as part of their faction, what Corbyn’s supporters cannot now say is “don’t go, we didn’t mean it, we can’t do it without you.”

Setting The Record Straight

In the summer of 2016, Brighton and Hove Labour Party held its annual general meeting at a city centre venue. Following the huge expansion of membership the summer before, over four times the previous number attended. Queues stretched around the block, particularly after a large contingent from a nearby Momentum rally arrived.

The venue quickly exceeded capacity, and the venue staff closed the doors as admitting further people would have breached fire safety limits. It was decided, on probably ill-judged advice from Region, to hold the AGM in three “shifts” so all could participate.

At the main door some people believed that they were being prevented from taking part, and that the person refusing them entry was from the Labour Party, not the venue. There was a heated confrontation.

As a result, the member of venue staff complained to a member of Labour staff (who himself was, during the event, elbowed in the ribs and called a “Blairite c***”) and several members of the outgoing City Party Executive. They then told me what had happened.

After the meeting I posted one tweet, half of which referred to the incident. It was wrong that this staff member, unconnected to anyone in Labour and just doing his job, had been caught up in a confrontation at such close quarters that the persons spit hit him. Ultimately he declined to make a formal complaint.

This incident had nothing to do with the subsequent annulment of the AGM and breakup of the City Party.

The elections held that day, using open buckets to collect ballots and held over three sessions, could not in the Party’s view be guaranteed to be safe.

The successful candidate for Chair was immediately suspended and subsequently expelled by the NEC for membership of the proscribed organisation the Alliance for Workers Liberty.

The NEC decided that the City Party, at over seven thousand members, was too large to function as a single unit, and determined that the three constituency parties should be reconstituted.

As someone who helped found the city party structure to more effectively contest local elections, I disagreed with that step in principle, but acknowledged it in practical terms. It was never my decision or one I had influence over. I had no involvement in the decision and was informed the day before it was announced. I don’t think the reasons for the annulment of the City Party elections and the return to CLPs were properly explained.

Again, my tweet, and the incident at the door, had nothing to do with the AGM being annulled and the City Party being broken up.

Claims were made that it was a desperate attempt by “Blairites” to cling on to control. The outgoing chair was Lloyd Russell-Moyle, now the Corbyn-supporting MP for Brighton Kemptown. He took over from Nancy Platts when she went to work in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Plenty of the outgoing Exec were on the Left, and standing again. By and large the City Party Executive had worked well bringing together all strands of the Party.

That one tweet has been used repeatedly over the past two years as “proof” that I have regularly “lied and fabricated smears” to discredit the Left and attack the leadership nationally.

Repeated again and again in blogs and on social media, particularly in the closed Facebook groups of the three local CLPs, these claims have become “the truth”.

My achievements in office have therefore always had a “yes, but..”. Is it any wonder I’ve been told, again and again, that “the membership won’t support you” carrying on as Leader?

None of this has been central to my decision to stand down, but it has been a distraction and a drain on delivering Labour policies in the city.

My decision not to seek re-election now means I am free to set the record straight. Of course those members convinced that I’ve spent the last two years fabricating “smears” – one of whom branded me an “execrable toad”, and another who referred to “murdering psychopaths” sharing the same traits as me – are very unlikely to believe a word of this, even if they read it.

That doesn’t matter and I’ve nothing to gain or lose now other than to put my side of the story, and to demonstrate the lengths some have gone to in order to pursue factional goals and personal vendettas. It was never about me attacking, or them defending, Jeremy Corbyn, it was all about settling scores. As Neil Schofield blogged last week, there were attempts to oust me as Labour Group leader even as we were campaigning to win the last local elections, months before Corbyn even stood.

I’ve had some personal abuse, yes, but it is nothing compared to the mysogynistic abuse and personal harrassment some of my women councillor colleagues have had to deal with over the past five years.

It’s the right thing to do, now, to call this behaviour out.

This blog post isn’t about me or my leadership, it’s about the Labour Party, about winning a majority Labour council in Brighton and Hove.

It is my hope that the many good and decent people on the Left and in the majority in the local Labour Party will now see through this kind of behaviour and, if they really believe in a new, kinder, gentler politics, kick these malicious people out of their movement. If they don’t, they may well find themselves on the receiving end of it next.

All Good Things…

It has been the privilege of my life to have been given the opportunity to serve as leader of the place where I was born and which I call home. However that time must now come to an end.

Despite the enormous financial and infrastructure challenges facing the city council, leading it has been a role I have enjoyed and found hugely rewarding, even in only being able to achieve a fraction of what I would have wished to.

None of what I have achieved as Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group over the past five years, or as Council Leader over the past three, have I achieved alone. I have been incredibly lucky to have has a group of friends, a team of talented councillor colleagues, and a set of dedicated council officers alongside me.

Together I believe we have achieved an enormous amount under near impossible circumstances given the funding, housing and political pressures we face. I’d like to pick out just a few things which are important to me.

Since taking up the Labour and Co-operative Group leadership we have gone from third place on the city council to first, almost doubling our number of councillors. We have won every council by-election we have faced, increasing our share of the vote even in office. Labour now stands ready to win a majority on the city council, a feat no political party in Brighton and Hove has managed in nearly two decades.

I made it a priority for the Labour Administration, on taking office in 2015, to tackle the city’s housing crisis. It is not easy, but we have succeeded in completing more new council homes in one year than at any time in the last thirty, and an innovative new partnership project to deliver a thousand homes affordable on the National Living Wage is about to begin. I put tackling the crisis of rough sleeping at the top of our agenda; whilst the problem continues to grow, we have ensured thousands have been helped from a life on the streets.

I have been proud to have played a small role in securing a future for the Madeira Terraces, alongside some dedicated community campaigners. As I said last week, our city’s heritage is not something to be remembered, but something to be lived. I hope I see the restoration completed.

Under my leadership we have, despite tens of millions being cut from our funding by the Government each year, steadied the council’s finances under a four-year plan, delivered three Budgets without the chaos of the Green administration that we replaced, and have done so without the need for any compulsory redundancies. We’ve seen increases in customer satisfaction, alongside an acknowledgment from residents that we are delivering value for money.

The council under my leadership has made significant progress on a number of major projects; the new King Alfred leisure centre, the replacement conference centre and concert arena for the Brighton Centre, the expansion of Churchill Square shopping centre, the Circus Street development, the Preston Barracks regeneration scheme and more. Together they total over a billion pounds worth of investment in new jobs, homes and economic growth that will secure the city’s economy for the future. Two decades of inaction and delay are at an end.

On a personal note, I was so happy to have been able to play a part in the celebrations to mark the Albion’s promotion to the Premier League, and to award the Freedom of the City to Chris Hughton and Tony Bloom.

Having spoken to colleagues over recent months I have now taken the decision to continue to serve as Leader until Annual Council in May, but not seek re-election at the Labour & Co-operative Group Annual General Meeting in April. This will give my successor time to prepare for the city council elections in 2019, and set out their stall for what I believe will be a Labour victory and the first majority council for nearly twenty years.
After fifteen years of representing East Brighton ward, I will also stand down as a councillor in May 2019.

I’ve given the city my best efforts in service of my fellow residents. I would like to thank all those who have worked with me and supported me over the past five years, and I wish my successor well in taking on the immense and difficult challenges of the years ahead.

Getting On With The Job

Over the coming months, the Labour minority Administration on Brighton and Hove City Council, which I am proud to lead, faces a number of significant challenges.

We face a seventh austerity budget imposed on us by the Conservative government, taking £100m away from our service funding, and the same time as our costs are growing and Whitehall hands us ever more responsibility for things they previously paid for.

We face the challenge of securing funding and powers to secure our city’s heritage and infrastructure, at the Pavilion and on the seafront, particularly Madeira Terraces.

We have to continue to make progress on delivering 1500 new council homes and truly affordable homes through our Living Wage joint venture.

We have to meet the challenge of a rising tide of rough sleeping and homelessness caused by Government welfare policy.

We need to secure the progress made on getting a better deal for tenants in the private rented sector, and support the provision of student accommodation to ease pressure on the housing market.

We have to ensure the council and partner agencies are ready to help those hit by the Governments roll-out of Universal Credit.

We must secure progress on the new conference centre and concert arena, extension to Churchill Square, and funding for a new King Alfred. Jobs, homes and our city’s future economic prosperity depend on it.

We need to bring together the council and Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver the GPs, primary health care services and basic NHS provision residents need.

We must continue the improvement in recycling we have achieved, and the action against litterers and flytippers who are placing a strain on our city’s cleaning services.

We want to roll out troubleshooters into our communities to tackle problems as they arrive at a local level, and improve the way we provide customer services online.

We must push even harder for a better deal for Brighton and Hove from the Government, for the powers and funding to deliver what our communities need.

We have to ensure the places at our schools, all of which are good and improving, are there for the pupils that need them.

We must continue to prepare the city, our economy and our businesses for the impact of Brexit.

All this and much more needs to be done. Its the job I was elected to do, that the city expects me to get on with, and I will not be distracted or diverted from it.

Despite the challenges we face, Brighton and Hove can be as great as it ever was, and better, for everyone that lives here. That the job I’m getting on with.

Standing up to racism

Yesterday I made a public statement regarding anti-Semitism at the Labour Conference in Brighton and Hove.

As a city, we have clear policies on equalities, discrimination and racism. It is my job as Leader of the City Council to speak out against racism, bigotry and prejudice in all its forms. I’ve done so when the far-right came here to march. I’ve done so when refugees faced abuse, when the Muslim community faced hostility in the wake of events elsewhere.

Whatever my views on conflicts elsewhere in the world, my firm belief is that those conflicts should not be played out by groups or individuals against communities in our city. We are a City of Sanctuary, where people from all backgrounds should live alongside each other, live and work together, without the wars and conflicts in countries they may have connections with coming into daily life here.

Our right to free speech is bounded by the rights of others not to have their daily life subject to intimidation and fear. People are of course free to criticize and protest against the actions of the Israeli Government. Jewish people here are no more responsible for those actions simply for being Jewish than Syrian people are responsible for Assad or Americans are for Trump. Women in headscarves shouldn’t face abuse because of IS. Men in yarmulkes shouldn’t face abuse because of Netanyahu.

Legitimate debate on the Israel/Palestine issue should not be stifled, but neither should that issue it be a justification for the demonisation of an entire group of people based on their ethnicity or religion. My statement was not about that conflict.

Nor was it about the Labour leadership. Jeremy Corbyn and the front bench have been clear on their condemnation of anti-Semitism: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/26/new-antisemitism-row-for-labour-over-fringe-speakers-holocaust-remarks-miko-peled?

Conference approved a rule change with the support of 96% of delegates to make anti-Semitic behaviour even more explicitly against the Party rules than it was previously. I’m calling for those rules to be enforced, so that we can welcome Conference back to Brighton and Hove again.

Anti-Semitism is racism. The Labour Party is an anti-racist Party. Brighton and Hove is a city where all should feel safe and secure. These are things which should not be in question.