JLM writes to Green Party leaders raising concerns around antisemitism

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JLM writes to Green Party leaders raising concerns around antisemitism

Letter sent to co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay points to the social media conduct of an elected councillor in Norwich, and the admission into party of councillors suspended or expelled from Labour

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, co-leaders of the Green Party at St Pancras Meeting Rooms, London. Picture date: Friday October 1, 2021. (Jewish News)
Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, co-leaders of the Green Party at St Pancras Meeting Rooms, London. Picture date: Friday October 1, 2021. (Jewish News)

The Jewish Labour Movement has written to the co-leaders of the Green Party raising concerns about antisemitism.

A letter, signed by JLM’s national chair Mike Katz, and national secretary Adam Langleben, highlights the conduct on social media of an elected Greens councillor in the city of Norwich.

It also raises further concerns about councillors expelled by Labour now being admitted into the Green Party despite them being caught up in claims around antisemitism.

The letter names Jo Bird in Wirral and Heather Skibsted in Peterborough as being “welcomed into the Greens.”

It also accuses councillor Gary Champion, a Sewell Ward Green representative on Norwich City Council of “posting material online which “promotes antisemitic tropes”, and of repeatedly suggesting claims of anti-Jewish racism in Labour were a “smear.”

“That an elected councillor is sharing such material is extremely concerning for Jewish residents, and should be hugely worrying for you,” the letter, sent to Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay states.

It is understood that JLM members in East Anglia raised concerns about the councillors posts, and alerted the group’s officials.

On the issue of expelled or suspended former Labour councillors being allowed to join the Greens, the letter continues: “We understand the temptation to score political points and gain existing new councillors but the Labour Party’s disciplinary processes have been well-tested in court.”

JLM’s communication also seeks assurances from the Greens leaders that the concerns around antisemitism will be addressed, and also for an assurance that the party is “training its elected members and activists on countering left antisemitism.”

Green Party deputy leader Zack Polanski, who is Jewish, has previously defended his party’s record on antisemitism.

He told Jewish News: “The Green Party has a clear and well publicised code of conduct for all members and there’s no place for antisemitism in our party.

“I was proud to copropose with fellow Jewish Green members last year comprehensive Antisemitism guidance. This guidance passed overwhelmingly at conference and further underlines our party is an inclusive, progressive space for all.”

Jewish News has contacted the Greens, and Councillor Champion for further comment on issues raised by the letter.


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