Today the results for Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) will be announced and tomorrow the committee will meet to discuss whether the Labour party should adopt the definition on Anti- Semitism in its entirety, as provided by the International Holocaust remembrance Alliance (IHRA) or not but what does this mean for the future of the Labour Party?
The issue over anti-Semitism has escalated over the last few weeks with one prominent Labour MP accusing Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-Semite and a racist and another prominent Labour MP resigning the whip over the handling of the issue. Historically the Labour Party has often referred to its self as a broad-church, a collective term used to describe the many opposing views and divisions within the Labour Party.
However, the continuation of this current debate is fuelling those divisions which is going to the core of the Labour Party membership, but the real test for Tuesday’s meeting will be between Jeremey Corbyn and Momentum founder and leader Jon Lansman.
Jeremy Corbyn and his critics of the IHRA definition believe that by adopting the full definition will restrict an individual’s ability to criticise the Israeli government and in turn be deemed an anti- Semite, which is at odds with Momentum Founder Jon Lansman, who believes that the Labour Party should adopt the IHRA definition in full.
The row over anti-Semitism was further heightened when NEC member Peter Willsman made remarks that were deemed as being anti-Semitic. This resulted in Momentum removing support for his candidacy to be re-elected to the NEC and caused division within Momentum with some accusing Jon Lansman of “losing his bottle” in the face of hostile media attention.
Given that Momentum played a key part in electing Jeremy Corbyn as party leader in 2015, and subsequently during the 2016 leadership contest, this will be the first time that the Labour leader will be at odds with an organisation that has been a strong advocate of his leadership since day one.
So, what does this mean for the future of the Labour Party? In short there are only two possible outcomes, either the party adopts the anti-Semitism definition in full or it doesn’t.
Either outcome will have serious repercussions for the party but it’s likely to come down to loyalty to either Jon Lansman or Jeremy Corbyn. If the NEC adopts the definition on anti-Semitism in full this will be a major blow for Jeremy Corbyn with some questioning his leadership, but if the NEC refuses to accept the definition, then its likely that some Labour MP’s will resign the whip in response to the direction in which the Labour Party is going.
They say a week is a long time in politics, perhaps this will be Labour’s longest week to date.