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MATTERS ARISING FROM THE CHAKRABARTI REPORT 2016

At our last AMM Reading and District Labour Party passed the following motion was passed.

Reading and District Labour Party Notes:

  1. The Labour Party’s proud record over many decades in promoting equality and tolerance, and outlawing discrimination, including the introduction of the Race Relations Acts of 1965, 1968 and 1976 and the Equality Act 2010;
  2. That Labour Party members have a duty to challenge racism, including antisemitism, wherever it may arise;
  3. That the Shami Chakrabarti Report into antisemitism and other forms of racism (published 30 June 2016) was not properly implemented but, with the appointment of the new General Secretary to the Party, there has been a commitment made to fully implement the report, and this is welcomed;
  4. It is clear that the recommendations of the Report have yet to be implemented as members who had been suspended, but who still await disciplinary hearings, are not being allowed to participate fully in Party activities, contrary to the notion of natural justice discussed in the Report;
  5. The Report recommended that, after investigation and, in the event of a complaint being upheld, and when sanctions are considered:
    1. the principle of proportionality should be applied so that sanctions applied when complaints are upheld are proportional to the offending activity;
    2. the NCC should be encouraged to consider greater use of a wide and creative range of sanctions. These may include a warning, the requirement for apologies and/or some other form of sensitive reparation to another member or person or persons, a public warning or reprimand, suspension from the Party for up to two years, and expulsion. Lifetime bans from the Labour Party are not recommended.

Reading and District Labour Party believes:

  1. That what constitutes racist behaviour and the interpretation of the MacPherson principle by the co-chair of the Chakrabarti Inquiry has not been heeded, as illustrated in the most recent disciplinary hearing (of Marc Wadsworth, 25-27 April 2018) and this is of serious concern
  2. That little regard has been paid to the Chakrabarti Report across the Labour Party since it was published, nor the rights and responsibilities which go with its implementation, and it has not been adequately brought to the attention of officers and members of the Party

Reading and District Labour Party mandates:

  1. The Chair of RDLP to write to the NEC of the Labour Party to urge them to:
    1. Ensure that a member accused of a breach of rule be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, unless there are significantly serious reasons to immediately suspend the member, and allowed to enjoy full membership rights until such time as a disciplinary hearing has been completed
    2. Ensure that disciplinary procedures include consultation with the accused member’s CLP and Branch
    3. Ensure that disciplinary procedures are time limited and that a draft timetable is notified to the member when a disciplinary process is initiated
    4. Re-examine the cases of members who have been expelled from the Party since the Chakrabarti Report was published and before full implementation of the processes recommended within the report
    5. Suspend further disciplinary hearings held under the terms of reference of the Chakrabarti report until that report and its recommendations have been fully implemented especially in relation to preparation and training of panel members.
    1. The Chair of RDLP to organise to raise awareness of the Chakrabarti Report and its context in terms of the wide-range of statistics available which show the extent of racism within the Party, across Parliamentary parties, and in Britain and Europe generally.
    2. The branch to formally consider the definition of antisemitism adopted by the Party and the issues raised by leading legal experts regarding the interpretation of the definition (ie Hugh Tomlinson, QC and Sir Stephen Sedley, former Judge of the High Court and former Lord Justice of Appeal).

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