Conservatives received 14 complaints of antisemitism in 2022

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Conservatives received 14 complaints of antisemitism in 2022

Data released from one-year review into high-profile allegations of discrimination against Tories

The Conservative Party HQ Smith Square London UK
The Conservative Party HQ Smith Square London UK

The Conservative Party has revealed it received 14 complaints of antisemitism last year but gave no information on their outcome.

Data was shared this week in the one-year review of a report published by Professor Swaran Singh and his team following their 2020 investigation into high-profile allegations of discrimination – including Islamophobia and anti-Jewish hate – within the Conservative Party.

The purpose of the review was to assess the extent to which the Conservatives had enacted Singh’s recommendations from 2021, all of which were agreed.

One of the recommendations was for the Party to publish data on case volumes, completion times, and outcomes, especially where these cases relate to specific Protected Characteristics, such as religion and belief.

Its first transparency report covering 2022 shows that 18.5 percent of complaints cited at least one Protected Characteristic, and that while only 21 percent of all complaints progressed to investigation, over half of those citing a Protected Characteristic were investigated.

Of the complaints citing religion and belief, 55 percent cited Islam, while 43 percent cited Judaism. No breakdown of outcomes was submitted. Over a shorter period, 14 complaints citing Judaism were logged, compared to six citing Islam.

The Party recently issued a new Code of Conduct as well as new systems designed to tackle discrimination against Protected Characteristics, but the review highlighted a lack of training and implementation, with only 15 percent of Local Association Chairs enacting the changes to local processes.

Dan Ozarow, a Jewish Labour activist in Hertsmere who stood as a candidate in the Borehamwood Kenilworth ward byelection in 2020, suffered antisemitic abuse at the hands of Tory councillors, including a mocked-up poster suggesting he supported Hezbollah, and says the abuse has continued.

“From day one, many in the Jewish community have been saying how disappointing it was that those found guilty by the independent KC and panel of inciting antisemitism and conducting a personal, negative campaign against me were merely reprimanded by the Conservative Party,” he said.

“Without any enforcement, expulsions or suspensions, the intimidation and harassment has subsequently continued ever since and has been a living nightmare for me and my family. In the end I felt forced to stand down as a Borough Councillor in May this year, which was very upsetting for me and the residents I represent.

“I am therefore very pleased that the Singh investigation has highlighted serious weaknesses in how the Party deals with complaints of racism and has been critical of its failure to implement several of the recommendations of the 2021 Report.

“I hope that lessons will be learned going forward so that sufficient deterrents are in place to prevent others from suffering antisemitic abuse or other forms of hatred.”

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