Supporters of Pete Willsman’s Campaign for Labour Party Democracy are calling on Momentum leaders to “resist” adopting the internationally-recognised IHRA definition of antisemitism in a move that will further exacerbate growing tensions between Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters over his handling of the issue.
The CLPD is also instructing members to ask for an apology from Momentum for dropping Willsman from its slate of NEC candidates, a demand that will heighten tensions between Willsman and Lansman.
The CLPD is asking its members to write to Momentum leaders including Jon Lansman, its owner and founder, demanding that it “resist changes to the definition of anti-Semitism already agreed by [Labour’s ruling NEC]”. The email template shared by the CLPD claims “the proposed IHRA ‘working examples’ conflate antisemitism with genuine criticism of the actions of the Israeli state”.
The campaign doubles as a defence of disgraced CLPD chief Pete Willsman, who was dropped from Momentum’s slate of NEC candidates after a taped rant about the Jewish communitywas leaked to the media.
The email to Momentum bosses says: “the recent undemocratic decision to cut Peter Willsman from the Momentum NEC slate was a disgrace and I call upon [Momentum’s] NCG (National Coordinating Group) to make an immediate apology”.
It is unclear precisely who is behind ‘Back the NEC Code’ website that is linked to the new campaign, although some files on the site refer to Marion Roberts, who appears to be the ex-wife of Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers Corbyn.
The fallout from the failure to adopt the IHRA definition, which was rejected by Labour’s governing body in July, has helped to fuel a summer of stories about antisemitism in the party.
The full IHRA definition is likely to be adopted by the NEC at its next meeting in September after Momentum and the major trade unions said they would support such a move.
But that has prompted a backlash from some Corbyn supporters, who organised a ‘twitterstorm’ earlier this month calling on NEC members to reject it.
The Times reported on Thursday that opponents of the IHRA definition are planning to picket Labour HQ on the day of the NEC meeting to protest against its implementation.