Two Labour MPs ‘disappointment’ at failure to publish Oxford anti-Semitism investigation

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Two Labour MPs ‘disappointment’ at failure to publish Oxford anti-Semitism investigation

Michael Dugher & Rachel Reeves, Labour MPs for Barnsley East & Leeds West
Michael Dugher & Rachel Reeves, Labour MPs for Barnsley East & Leeds West

by Justin Cohen 

Two of Labour’s most prominent MPs have expressed “disappointment” over the party’s failure to publish an initial investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford University’s Labour Club.

Labour Students confirmed last week they had completed a probe launched after the resignation of the club’s co-chair, who alleged some members had “some kind of problem with Jews”, and subsequent claims of intimidation by the Jewish Society. The findings had been passed to the main party.

In what is being seen as an escalation of the process, a subsequent investigation has since been launched by the party centrally, headed by Baroness Jan Royall, the former shadow leader of the House of Lords.

Michael Dugher
Michael Dugher

But former shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher and Rachel Reeves, who both held shadow cabinet roles under Ed Miliband, write in today’s Jewish News, they said: “In the interests of transparency and to demonstrate beyond all doubt the seriousness with which we take these allegations, the report should be published now.” While they said there is “no better person to look further into the allegations, they argued, “there is no reason why the initial Labour Students report, that will inform Jan Royall’s further work, cannot be made public”.

The pair said the way anti-Semitism was confronted was a “test” for the party and “all eyes are on us”. Labour have previously pledged “robust action” if claims are proven.

The Daily Telegraph has previously reported that two senior activists were being investigated in the wake of claims of harassment and intimidation of Jewish students. Both deny the allegations. One of them narrowly failed to win a seat on the party’s National Executive Committee last weekend, amid accusations of intimidation and smears in the voting process from both his supporters and those of his successful rival.

Michael Dugher
Rachel Reeves

Dugher and Reeves said: “It isn’t acceptable for the Party to now wrap serious allegations about anti-Semitism inside Labour Students into a wider inquiry about the recent election of the Youth Rep to Labour’s National Executive Committee, which took place at the Scarborough Young Labour conference. Allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford are not that same as questions over delegates’ credentials in Scarborough.

“The Party leadership must directly engage with these problems, it must discipline anyone who is found to be responsible for anti-Semitic actions.  We must have the confidence that robust action will be taken.” This was particularly crucial, they claimed, “because young Jewish people are increasingly staying away from leading universities because of a hostile atmosphere towards Jews”.

Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan has also written to general secretary Iain McNicol expressing full confidence in Baroness Royall but saying it was “highly inappropriate” for the two probes to be rolled into one. “I now seek an assurance from you that Jan will be asked to conduct two distinct investigations and two reports will be published.”





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.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

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: