In a motion submitted to the GMB trade union today, the hundreds of staff members also criticised the party’s response to last week’s BBC Panorama documentary, demanding Labour now commits itself to a position of “support for whistleblowers”. The GMB motion said: “To hire people with those views is a shocking betrayal of Labour staff, the Jewish community and Labour’s history as an anti-racist party.” It adds the union will “write to the Jewish Labour Movement with a message of solidarity to send to both the former staff and the young activists featured on the programme to offer our regret at the behaviour of those who act in the name of the Labour Party and to reiterate the commitment of this branch to act as vocal and active allies in the fight against antisemitism”.
The proposer and seconder of the motion felt they had to remain anonymous.
It is understood more than 200 members of staff and supporters have so far sent a letter to Jeremy Corbyn attacking his response to the Panorama documentary which accused Labour of failing to do enough to tackle anti-Semitism.
Part of the letter says: “The revelations in the Panorama documentary deserve to be treated with the utmost seriousness.
“But the Party’s response has been to smear Jewish victims, and former staff, accusing them of acting in bad faith.”
Their demands follows revelations that the Labour Party is being sued by two former officials, Sam Matthews and Louise Withers Green, who lifted the lid on anti-Semitism in the BBC’s expose.
The motion calls for an urgent review into the party’s staff hiring process suggesting it is unacceptable that individuals being hired “attempt to minimise antisemitism or dismiss it as a smear”.
The GMB represents the vast majority of the hundreds of staff employed by Labour but others are represented by the Unite union chaired by Len McCluskey.
The letter was prepared during a meltdown at the top of Labour with Mr Corbyn’s biggest union backer, Unite boss Len McCluskey, calling deputy leader Tom Watson a “f***ing disgrace” at the Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday.
During the event Jeremy Corbyn said there were “many, many, inaccuracies” in the BBC Panorama documentary about antisemitism in the party, saying that the programme adopted a “predetermined position” before it was aired.
He said: “I watched the programme and I felt there were many, many inaccuracies in the programme.
“The programme adopted a predetermined position on its own website before it was broadcast.
“We’ve made very clear what our processes are.”