Sunak urged to hold ‘independent review’ into antisemitism in UK schools

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Sunak urged to hold ‘independent review’ into antisemitism in UK schools

Andrew Percy MP made the request to Prime Minister after reading out a list of inflammatory messages about 'Jews' and 'Zionists' written by pupils as young as 11

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Andrew Percy MP
Andrew Percy MP

The government should stage an independent review into how schools could do more to educate pupils about the perils of antisemitism, an MP has said.

Andrew Percy MP made the request to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after reading out a sinister list of anti-Jewish messages written by children as young as 11 in schools in this country.

The Conservative MP, who is Jewish himself, also claimed some schools in the UK had allowed “pro-Palestinian activists to educate pupils on the history of Palestine and displayed slides to students that denied the existence of the state of Israel.”

He said that other schools had allowed pupils to be absent to attend pro-Palestine demos at which antisemitic chanting had been heard.

In his question to Sunak at PMQs on Wednesday, Percy said:”This is completely unacceptable. Can I ask the Prime Minister to hold an independent review on how we can do more on our curriculum to educate about the perils of antisemitism.”

In response the PM said there was “no place for antisemitism or glorification of terrorism in Britain, especially in our classrooms.”

He also praised the recent recommendations by Lord John Mann on how to tackle antisemitism in classrooms.

Sunak added:”We will continue to work together with Lord Mann on this vital issue.”

Among the list of observations written by youngsters in recent weeks highlighted by Percy was the suggestion “Not all Jews are bad” while another message read “Palestinians are dying while the Zionists are laughing their lives away.”

Percy explained in the House of Commons that the list he read out were “not my words” but “words produced by pupils as young as 11 at schools in this country.”

He said one pupil had even signed off their letter saying they sought “vengeance.”
Percy added:”That word was however crossed out.”

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