EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dems expected to adopt full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dems expected to adopt full IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

Jewish News understands that the party will back the international definition of Jew-hatred amid pressure for Labour to do the same

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable 

Credit: The Liberal Democrats
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable Credit: The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are expected to formally adopt the widely used International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and its examples tomorrow, further increasing the pressure on Labour to do the same.

The Jewish News has spoken to a number of Liberal Democrat sources, who confirmed that a vote on accepting the IHRA definition will take place at a meeting of the party’s ruling Federal Board tomorrow evening.

While the vote is expected to pass, there is some opposition within party. Jonathan Fryer, the Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, said: “LDFP is firmly opposed to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination. However, in common with several Liberal Jewish groups, as well as legal opinions from a number of authorities (as well as the author of the definition himself), we do have reservations about the wisdom of adopting the IHRA definition with its examples, because of its implications for freedom of expression.”

A senior Liberal Democrat source told the Jewish News that the party has in reality been using the IHRA definition as its understanding of anti-Semitism since 2016, but the vote tomorrow will mean it is officially part of the party’s rulebook.

A number of Federal Board Members asked the Liberal Democrat President, Baroness Sal Brinton, who chairs the committee, to put adoption of the IHRA definition onto the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

Labour’s equivalent body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), will be discussing the the issue at the same time, in what is expected to be a highly fractious debate.

This weekend, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Jewish Labour Movement’s conference that the IHRA definition “must be embraced immediately and unequivocally by the Labour Party”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: