Far-left split over JVL candidate for Labour’s disciplinary committee

Jon Lansman’s Momentum pitted against Peter Willsman’s CLPD in row over seat for JVL member on antisemitism committee.

Momentum chief Jon Lansman has opened another split with Peter Willsman’s CLPD in a far-left row over seats on the Labour committee reviewing antisemitism cases.

Far-left groups including Momentum, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) are reported to have met on Monday to agree a slate of candidates for Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, the party’s disciplinary body that deals with antisemitism cases.

That meeting broke down when Momentum refused to endorse JVL member Stephen Marks for a place on the committee, saying that such a move would inevitably trigger an outcry from the mainstream Jewish community.

That outcry stems from JVL’s controversial stance on Labour antisemitism, with articles on its website describing Labour’s antisemitism crisis as a “concocted hysteria”, expressing regret over Ken Livingstone’s resignation and claiming that Peter Willsman’s infamous taped rant about the Jewish community was “misquoted and misrepresented”.

Their proposed NCC member Stephen Marks is himself controversial, having recently compared the Jewish community’s calls for Labour to strengthen its disciplinary processes on antisemitism to how “the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia in 1914 was designed to provide a pretext for starting World War I”.

Peter Willsman’s CLPD has now taken an aggressive stance against Momentum by releasing its own slate of NCC candidates backed by a number of other far-left groups which includes JVL’s Stephen Marks. Momentum is set to respond later today with its own slate of candidates, with Lansman criticising CLPD’s London-centric slate.

The row mirrors an earlier split that saw Momentum drop their backing for Peter Willsman in the summer’s elections for Labour’s NEC. Jon Lansman will inevitably face accusations that he has split the far-left, turning the present NCC elections into another test of Momentum’s strength and of Lansman’s resolve to take Labour’s antisemitism crisis seriously.

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