Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
8 August 2018updated 09 Sep 2021 3:13pm

Jon Lansman “lobbying for Labour to adopt full IHRA definition” as Corbynite divisions deepen

The most significant thing about Lansman’s calls is not that they are being made, but that they are being ignored.

By Patrick Maguire

Divisions on the Corbynite left over Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism are deepening. According to a Jewish News report – which has not been denied – Momentum’s Jon Lansman has for weeks been lobbying the Labour leadership to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, with all 11 of its examples.

“Like many other leading party members close to the leadership, he recognises the necessity of agreeing that definition in order to be able to begin to rebuild trust with the Jewish community, whatever concerns we may have about the application of some examples,” a source close to Lansman who is a Jewish member of Labour’s ruling national executive tells the paper.

In an explicit criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s response in a much-criticised Guardian article last week, they add that despite standing by the party’s code of conduct, he “regretted” the leader had made no “firm commitment” to adopt all of the IHRA definition’s examples.

The intervention speaks to Labour’s defining division on the issue. As Stephen Bush writes in his column for this week’s New Statesman, Lansman’s view is that the party should do it all it can to reassure British Jews, and with it reclaim the ability to set the agenda on other issues like the economy. Others, chief among them Corbyn and his strategy chief Seumas Milne, see the row as a foreign policy issue.

It is abundantly clear at this point that the only thing the Labour leadership can do to reassure the Jewish community and regain its trust is to adopt the IHRA definition and its examples in full. And in that sense, the most significant aspect of the JN’s story isn’t that Lansman is lobbying to that effect. His doing so is entirely consistent with his approach to the row to date.

Select and enter your email address Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A quick and essential guide to domestic politics from the New Statesman's Westminster team. A weekly newsletter helping you understand the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

No, the most telling fact is that those calls have been ignored for so long, even as the party’s standing in the Jewish community plumbs new nadir after new nadir. That the story still is one of Lansman lobbying unsuccessfully for compromise rather than an actual compromise confirms that this row is a long way from resolution. Corbynites still can’t agree what the problem is, let alone how to solve it. And by now, that almost certainly means they have missed their opportunity to fulfill Lansman’s aim of reassuring the Jewish community.

Content from our partners
To truly tackle regional disparities, we need a new type of devolution
How smart meters helped a business thrive
The case for sustainable thematic investing