Dave Prentis, the Unison general secretary, and Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB union and Paddy Lillis, The general secretary of the USDAW union call for Labour to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition on antisemitism, arguing that not doing so is costing the party the moral high ground to oppose racial hatred and oppression.
Prentis said the row had become a dangerous distraction for Labour and made it easy for supporters of Boris Johnson to wave away criticism of the former foreign secretary’s controversial remarks about fully veiled Muslim women “by saying ‘what about antisemitism in the Labour party?’”
In an article for the New Statesman, Prentis wrote: “Right now, adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism including all the examples, removing those guilty of racism from our party and putting the issue of Labour and antisemitism to bed as quickly as possible is critical to [helping Labour win the next election].”
Paddy Lillis Tim Roache Dave Prentis
Tim Roache, made the same argument, complaining that party members were “knocking lumps out of each other” when it should be exploiting Tory divisions. “It is abundantly clear that Labour has to accept IHRA examples of antisemitism in full, while agreeing that criticising the Israeli government and supporting our Palestinian brothers and sisters is not being antisemitic,” Roache wrote.
Paddy Lillis follows Dave Prentis of UNISON and Tim Roach of GMB in demanding a reversal of the party’s position.
The bakers union had reportedly Called for Labour to stick to the current code of conduct that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition but without four of its 12 examples. But Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers), like the other unions, has two places on the national executive committee, making it increasingly likely those demanding change will have the numbers to push it through.