Leeds university cancels referendum on steps to combat antisemitism

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Leeds university cancels referendum on steps to combat antisemitism

A motion on ways to protect Jewish students was voted down on Monday, triggering a campus-wide referendum

Leeds University Union
Leeds University Union

Leeds University’ student union has cancelled a controversial referendum on measures to combat antisemitism on campus.

The motion included several student-proposed measures to combat antisemitism in the university: adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism and its examples, providing antisemitism training and commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day.

The motion was voted down on Monday, triggering a campus-wide referendum, meaning thousands of students were going to decide whether the student union should combat antisemitism.

But it’s since emerged that the measures were already in place.

“After discussion, a collective decision has been reached that a referendum on the idea will not be happening,” reads a letter from the union.

“LUU and JSoc are confident that the content of the idea is already in place at LUU,”

The letter, sent to Jewish members yesterday, says: “For a long time, the definition of antisemitism used by LUU in our complaints process, has covered the working definition laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

“The elected student leadership and senior staff within LUU regularly undergo awareness briefings around antisemitism and any form of hate crime.”

In a shared statement, the Union of Jewish Students and Leeds J-Soc said they are “pleased to note Leeds University’s letter of support for Jewish students”.

The statement continues: “In recognition that LUU already commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day, provides antisemitism training and uses the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, a referendum has been prevented, which would have caused great distress to Jewish students.

“It is clear that a number of steps need to be taken to clarify process and solidify provisions to protect Jewish students, and we look forward to collaborating with LUU on this process.”

The referendum has now been cancelled.


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: