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8 Oct, 2018 16:59

Hammer Labour, but where is the Tories’ official code on anti-Semitism, asks Jewish author

Hammer Labour, but where is the Tories’ official code on anti-Semitism, asks Jewish author

A prominent Jewish children’s author has questioned why the Tories have not adopted an international definition of anti-Semitism with all 11 examples, after the Labour Party was attacked for considering a dilution of the code.

Michael Rosen, a well-known writer of children's books, has taken to social media to ask why the Conservative Party attacked Labour over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition and its 11 examples, but have not themselves included them in their code of conduct - a code that does not cover the behavior of grassroots Tory members.

Eric Pickles, an ex-Tory minister, now peer and honorary vice president of charity, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), has tweeted that the Conservatives adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in December 2016 with no amendments, which is evidenced in their ‘ethics code’.

However, as Rosen points out, the Conservatives ‘code of conduct’ that Pickles refers to does not make any reference to the 11 examples. The author and poet has also questioned why the Board of Deputies of British Jews has claimed the Tories have adopted the ‘examples’ when it appears they have not. The group has been highly critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism claims.


The Jewish author has tried to reach out to the Conservative Party’s chairman, Brandon Lewis, to seek clarification on “when and exactly how the Conservative Party has (or has not) adopted the IHRA code.”

Lewis has responded on social media, simply by retweeting comments from Pickles, much to the dissatisfaction of many who have been highly critical of the Conservatives on this contentious issue.

Labour’s governing body, finally agreed in September to adopt the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism with all 11 examples following highly charged debate over its pitfalls, with accusations that free speech in relation to Palestine could be curtailed.

The UK government line is that it committed the UK to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in 2016. The problem is it’s the Conservative code of conduct on anti-Semitism under scrutiny, not the UK government.

In July, Theresa May told parliament: “We should all sign up, as the Conservative Party has, to the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and all its annexes.” Thus far, no evidence of the Tories signing up to this international code and all its “annexes” has been unearthed.

RT has asked the Conservative Party for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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