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Black and Jewish socialists call on Starmer to make equal effort to tackle all forms of racism in the party

HUNDREDS of black and Jewish socialist Labour members and their supporters have called on Sir Keir Starmer to express their dismay over the party dragging its feet in tackling its institutional racism.

More than 440 people nationwide signed an open letter that was jointly launched by Labour Black Socialists and Jewish Voice for Labour in Greater Manchester.

They said that the Labour leadership is failing to address anti-black racism and Islamophobia by the then-senior party HQ staff hat was exposed in an internal Labour report leaked in April.

The letter condemns Mr Starmer’s decision to compensate some ex-staff members who cast themselves as anti-semitism whistleblowers but had “participated in a culture of racism.” It says that the “deeply disappointing” decision “is a misuse of membership subscription funds, and compromises the Forde Inquiry into the report.”

The members said that the party must make equal effort to tackle all racism and prejudice. They added that Mr Starmer’s sacking of former shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting an article — an interview with Maxine Peake that claimed US officers who killed George Floyd were using restraint tactics used by Israeli police — was “not a meaningful action against anti-semitism.”

They added that both Ms Long-Bailey and Ms Peake are “good anti-racist comrades who do not deserve to be tarred with the brush of anti-semitism.”

The letter continues: “We call on all socialists to reject the conflation of opposition to the existing racist structure of Israel’s regime with anti-semitism.

“We call on all socialists to expose a leadership which ‘takes the knee’ to give the appearance of anti-racism while ignoring evidence of rampant anti-black racism within the highest echelons of the party apparatus.”

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