to Sir Keir Starmer, David Evans and members of Labour NEC, sent 19th September 2021

Open Letter from the CAMPAIN group* and supporters
 

Dear Keir Starmer, David Evans and members of the Labour Party National Executive

 

CAMPAIN is a group formed to push back against gross misinformation and misrepresentation in Britain’s public affairs and news media – see www.campain.org. We are strictly non-partisan and include members from all political parties and none.

We are deeply shocked at what we are seeing in your Party, including:                                    

  • the widespread misrepresentation of left-wing elements, including a disproportionately large number of Jews, as “antisemitic”, and latterly

  • a campaign to silence these elements and/or expel them from the Labour Party.

 

Those on the receiving end often characterise this as “an attack on the left” or “an attack on socialism”, but we consider it far worse: it undermines the core values to which most British people subscribe including evidence-based discussion, free speech and democracy. 

We expect the Labour Party to base its arguments on substantive evidence; not least because it is led by a well-known lawyer who rose to be Director of Public Prosecutions. Back in 2019 we sifted through the evidence behind endless media claims that the Labour left was a hotbed of rampant antisemitism, and found no substance in them. 

Of course, there is some anti-Jewish sentiment in all sections of society, but there is no reason to highlight the Labour Party in this regard. Indeed, the evidence shows that prejudice against all minorities, including Jews, is stronger on the right of the British political spectrum.  A range of other players have reached the same conclusions, but their findings are hardly reported in Britain’s (biased) mainstream media.

 

We appreciate that the Labour leadership may have its ideological differences with the Labour left, but find it totally unacceptable that the Labour leadership is playing the “antisemitism card” to attack the Labour left.  The current campaign to silence and/or expel left-wing members of your party is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century. It is a giant leap backwards and represents a wholesale abandonment of any commitment to the right to fair representation and due process

Please reflect on this and bring this abuse to a close. We shall be delighted to receive comments or answer any questions you may have.

 

Kind regards

  • Dr. Rodney Watts, Chairman of CAMPAIN

  • Jonathan Coulter, Secretary of CAMPAIN

  • Miranda Pinch, co-founder of CAMPAIN, and producer of “From Balfour to Banksy”

  • Tim Llewellyn, co-founder of CAMPAIN, and former Middle East Correspondent for the BBC

  • Nigel Scott, co-founder of CAMPAIN, and a fighter for honest reporting

  • Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), fighting for universal human rights and dignity, justice for all, freedom of expression and democracy in the Labour Party (LP)

  • SE London & Lewisham Friends of Palestine (SELFOP)

  • Muslim Community Helpline Team, an emotional support service for Muslims

  • David Cannon, Chair of Jewish Network for Palestine (JNP), London

  • Averil Parkinson, signing as Chair of Cambridge PSC

  • Rosmary Bechler, retired, formerly worked for Open Democracy as Editor and European/International Editor, and Chair of the National Peace Council

  • Rev Stephen Sizer, Director of Peacemakers Trust, Southampton

  • Leon Rosselson, writer of satirical songs and children's books, Wembley, London

  • Nina Houghton, suspended member of Wavertree CLP, Liverpool

  • Mark Pennell, Sherborne

  • Riva Joffe, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, London NW1

  • Jane Collier, Health Care Professional, Liverpool

  • Sally Eason, founder of Left Phoenix and suspended by the LP, Haringey

  • Jan Deckers, Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics, Newcastle University

  • Sarah Sheriff, Lewisham

  • Colin Lomas, London W7

  • Helen Heenan, Hemel Hempstead

  • Dr Laila Kassam, Development Economist, Cookham Berkshire

  • Shireen Kassam, Consultant Haematologist, Bordon, Hampshire 

  • Adam Waterhouse, formerly Secretary of PSC Southampton

  • Richard Seaford, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter

  • Shlomo Dowen, Mansfield

  • Craig Johnson, Dundee

  • Stewart Whitehead, previous lifelong LP member recently resigned due to shocking developments in the Party, committed supporter of, and cycling ambassador for, Palestinian rights, living in West Sussex

  • Satish Sekar, Author of Trials and Tribulations: Innocence Matters?

  • Stuart Littlewood, marketing specialist turned writer-photographer, contributor to Al Arabiya English website and the author of Radio Free Palestine, living at Castle Douglas, Scotland

  • Dr Alan Maddison, an ex-Labour member who has done much to expose misrepresentation about antisemitism, from Sunderland. Member of CAMPAIN

  • Clifford Jones, retired and formerly Director of Continuing Professional Development in Education, University of Liverpool. Member of CAMPAIN

  • Norman Wright, retired teacher, Hove

  • Andrew Burglass, artist, Grantham, Lincs.

  • Mike Jones, retired teacher/head of department, belonging to Bromley Lib Dems

  • David White, Former Greater London Councillor and Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Croydon

  • Hugh Walker, retired security manager and former customs officer (operational intelligence), Kensworth, Bedfordshire.

  • John Stokes, retired teacher, Smethwick

  • Steve Kinneavy, Sheffield Hallam CLP

  • Helen Marks, family therapist/NHS mental health worker, Riverside CLP, Liverpool

  • Angie Mindel, ex-LP member, Nottingham

  • James Turner, member of CAMPAIN, London

  • Jerry Headley, member of CAMPAIN from North Berwick. As a senior official of the Scottish Parliament, has led UN development projects in Palestine, becoming deeply concerned about the objectivity of media reporting on Israel/Palestine.

  • Dr Ruth Gould, member of CAMPAIN. Retired with a background in adult education. Lives in Minster near Ramsgate.

  • Tony Greenstein, blogger/first Jewish person to be expelled in LP clampdown, Brighton

  • Ruth Tenne, retired researcher, human rights activist of Israeli origin, Camden PSC

  • Jay Ginn, retired from Croydon

  • Paul Casson, retired Head Teacher in Special Education, ex-LP, Kendal, Cumbria

  • Peter Ryland, retired construction trainer, South Norfolk

  • Jane Knights, retired and an artist from South Norfolk

  • Trevor Hoyle, a writer/novelist who also contributes to ColdType online magazine. Lives in Lancashire.

  • Karen Brady, novelist living in Spain

  • Anthony Hall, retired engineer, from Kidderminster

  • David Mond, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick

  • Ed Fredenburgh, retired graphic designer, Islington

  • Shosh Morris, psychotherapist, Islington

  • James Dickins, Professor of Arabic, University of Leeds, with leading role in exposing pro-Israeli lawfare in publishing.

  • Thomas Suárez, concert violinist, composer, author, historical researcher, and lecturer. Native of New York, he resides permanently in London.

  • Jon Pullman, filmmaker with a particular interest in the Middle East, Director of Witch-Hunt (2019), and works in a GP practice in Edinburgh

  • Annie Kimber, retired university teacher, Kensington, London

  • Miranda Townsend, LP member for over 50 years and refusing to quit, Lambeth, London

  • Carl Clarke, Global HR Leader with Upfield Foods, Kingston Upon Thames

  • Kathlyn Gadd, retired chartered accountant from Stoke-on-Trent (“Hounded out of Labour party after talk to local CLP on my experiences working for an NGO and living in a refugee camp in the West Bank”) 

  • Dr Richard Gadd, retired former head of nuclear medicine at the UHNM NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent

  • Illinois Cook, homemaker living in Wandsworth, formerly a Labour member but suspended under McNichol

  • Dr Emrys Jenkins, retired health care academic and formerly head of department at School of Human & Health Sciences, Swansea University

  • Greg Harrowing, retired and resigned from the LP, from Kingswood, South Gloucestershire

  • Jennifer Runham, retired teacher and Probation Service Officer, LP member from Cambridge

  • Jim Kinnibrugh, retired Building Services Engineering Consultant, formerly of Stafford, now living in Italy

  • Susan Buckingham, environmental researcher/consultant, Cambridge

  • Peter Buckley, Chartered Engineer (retired), Teddington 

  • Ged Gardiner, retired cabinet maker of Wandsworth

  • Laurie van Someren, Managing Director, Aleph One Ltd., Bottisham, East Cambs.

  • Kathy Hamilton, retired teacher, Cambridge

  • Janet Walker, Cambridge (“resigned from the LP because of this witch hunt”)

  • Clare Dove, retired University Lecturer in Art/Photography. Artist. Filmmaker/photographer for political disputes. Trade Unionist, and erstwhile Labour member. From London, now based in Ramsgate.

  • Francis Sneade, retired teacher living in Portsmouth

  • Jenny Hardacre, teacher and former lecturer from Cambridge. Member of CAMPAIN.

  • Denise Fowler, retired historian and also a Speech and Language Therapist, living in Warwick

  • David Plank, LP member from Cambridge who wrote a critique of the Home Affairs Select Committee 's report on Antisemitism and articles on the misuse of allegations of antisemitism based on Al Jazeera's “The Lobby”. Member of CAMPAIN.

  • Andy Hamilton, retired, formerly Reader in Urban Sustainability at Salford University and Consultant to the European Commission on urban issues. Member of PSC. Lives in Rochdale.

  • Dave Kirby, retired GP from Hackney

  • Kevin White, retired and living in Toxteth Liverpool. LibDem member and former Chair of Liverpool LibDems

  • Marc Hadley, Musician. Vice Chair of St Ives Lib Dems and Local Council candidate

  • Alison Pick, retired teacher living in Lewisham

  • Rob Wall, retired after a varied career including teaching. LP member from Bedford.

  • Kathleen Zimak, from Crosby, Merseyside. Active in local church and Parish Council, member of the LP, Liverpool Friends of Palestine and Sabeel Kairos UK.

  • Kate Young, retired, LP member, from Kingston

  • Brian Steedman, retired deputy head teacher from Walthamstow

  • Anne Glendining, retired and living in Tiverton Devon. A teacher for 23 years, then the wife of a farmer, formerly a Conservative and now a member of a Sabeel/Kairos group.

  • Rev. Dianne Cox, Anglican priest and previously a teacher of Religious Studies who took pupils to synagogues and the National Holocaust Centre. Observed situation in Israel & Palestine in 2004 and 2019, and now a member of York PSC and Sabeel/Kairos.

  • Kathy McCubbing, retired lecturer from Reading

  • Kitty Warnock, retired NGO official, Lewisham

  • John Logan, retired and living in Wigan

  • Dodie Carter, retired and still a part-time social worker, from Cambridge

  • Tony Booth, member of Cambridge City CLP “in animated suspension”

  • Pamela Manning, former civil servant, and voluntary CAB advisor. Member of Lib Dems since its foundation, living in Cambridge.

  • Eddie Dougall, retired sound recordist, Membership Sec. Mid Suffolk Rural BLP, Bury St Edmunds CLP

  • Anthony Baldwin, Retired teacher and retired LP Member of Dover and Deal

  • Abbas Hussain, retired lawyer with various interests in property, internet marketing, and crypto currency. Lives in Hinkley, Leicestershire

  • James Joughin, Development Economist, member of COMPASS and Brighton and Hove for Europe, writes for Sussex Bylines and lives in Brighton

  • Eddie Powell, former finance Director of Cambridge Neurtraceuticals, living in Cambridge

  • Linda Edmondson, retired Jewish historian who resigned from the LP over false accusations of antisemitism in 2020. Lives in Westbury, Shropshire

  • David Barnsdale, a Liberal Democrat who is retired, from Surbiton

  • Chris Wallis, retired BBC Radio Producer, ex Chair Hazel Grove CLP. Suspended from the LP. Lives in Marple, Stockport

  • Paddy O’Keefe, expelled member of the LP, from Brighton

  • Esther Saraga, daughter of German Jewish refugees, retired and formerly senior lecturer at The Open University. Resigned from LP for reasons outlined in the Open Letter. Lives in London.

  • Martin Golding, a retired non-Zionist Jew who Lives in Cambridge.  Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he taught English, History and the history of moral and political thought. Practiced as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and for many years an art critic.

  • John Purcell, carpenter and joiner from London NW1

  • Jacob Butler, long-term LP member, Matlock, Derbyshire

  • Linda Whittern, retired with background in Human Resources Management. Used to run her own company.  Lives in Broughton Astley, Leicestershire.

  • Jacob Ecclestone. for many years the Deputy General Secretary of the NUJ. A member of South Norfolk CLP.

  • Dave Postles, historical researcher living in Loughborough

  • John Coates, engineer, LP and Trade Union activist, Leeds

  • Max Cook, LP member from Durham

  • Seamus O’Connell: Worked for the British Railways Board. Member of TSSA. Member of the LP off and on for 60 years. From Willesden, London

  • Abe Hayeem, retired architect, and Rosamine Hayeem, both members of JVL and Harrow CLP

  • Kevin Riley, retired Joiner, computer repair technician, Bootle

  • Diana Neslen, a Jewish antiracist living in Ilford, accused and found guilty by the LP of antisemitism for social media posts critical of Israel and Zionism

  • Elizabeth Baines, a novelist and playwright, and LP member living in Manchester

  • Kelsey Cowling, a special needs teacher, and LP member living in Baildon, West Yorkshire

  • Hilary De Santos, Retired teacher, Lewisham

  • Malcolm Segall, British paediatrician who worked on developing public health services in post-liberation Mozambique and Zimbabwe, post-apartheid South Africa, Vietnam and China. Jewish LP member from Tunbridge Wells.

  • Mike Scott, a Jewish former LP member, who recently resigned because he felt unwelcome and that his personal experience of antisemitism was being ignored and belittled. A retired Trade Union Organiser who lives in Nottingham

  • Alma Yaniv, suspended LP member, Garston & Halewood CLP

  • Mary Wyatt, Secretary Felixstowe Branch LP, Membership Secretary Suffolk Coastal Constituency LP

  • Fran Heron, retired NHS worker and long-term housing activist, living in Keir Starmer’s constituency in north London

  • Angie Hudson, BA CQSW retired, lapsed LP member upset with weaponization of antisemitism. London N20

  • Dianne Allen, retired teacher at Muslim Grammar school from Manchester. struggling with whether to remain a LP member

  • Ian Ampleford, retired and living in Worksop, Notts, after working as army Warrant Officer and technical author, ending up as Director of Technical Communications at ARM Ltd. Currently Secretary of North Notts Unite Community branch.

  • Dr Mark Smithson PhD DBA MSc LLB Hons DipOSH MCCA, lives in Carlton in Lindrick, near Worksop, Notts

  • Nick Elvidge, care worker living in the Western Isles

  • Hilary Povey, Professor Emerita, Sheffield Hallam University, LP branch officer

  • Alison Aiken, retired school midday supervisor from Retford, North Nottinghamshire

  • Ann Eggboro, a retired teacher living in Warrington, also a member of the Labour Party, the Methodist Church, PSC and Sabeel Kairos

  • George Wilmers, mathematical logician, retired from Manchester University, Manchester JVL coordinator

  • Jason Hussein, manages a charity in the North East, and also active in the Big Ride for Palestine. Lives in Newcastle

  • Dr Lorcan Smith, Electrical/software engineer and former lecturer (semi-retired), Haywards Heath, Sussex

  • Bob Reeves, Lambeth and Wandsworth PSC, Dulwich and West Norwood CLP, living in Herne Hill.
     

 

* Campaign against Misrepresentation in Public Affairs, Information, and the News, formed March 2021. Email admin@campain.org; tel. 07843 383259; postal address - 21 Stanstead Close, Bromley, BR2 9DS.