We welcome Baroness Royall's decision to release her report into antisemitism within the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC). Despite the clear acknowledgement of antisemitic incidents occurring within OULC, it remains a concern that they haven't been appropriately addressed as part of the Labour Party's disciplinary procedures.
We appreciate the publishing of the report in full and the time and effort that Baroness Royall dedicated to the report, but many Jewish students at Oxford are likely to be disappointed. The report does not reveal much that wasn't already thought to be the case. This raises questions as to why the report was initially suppressed, and we believe it is vital that there is full transparency as to why this happened.
While the publishing of the report attempts to provide Jewish students with reassurance, it is only with action that they will know that Labour clubs are safe spaces for them once again. Therefore it is important that the individual members of OULC that were reported to Baroness Royall are appropriately disciplined for their actions.
It is no surprise that the report found that these issues go wider than any Labour club. As the report concludes, many Jewish students feel unable to engage in certain spaces, particularly around Israel and Palestine, out of fear of demonisation. It is vital that Jewish students' concerns are not ignored and that antisemitism is taken as seriously as any other form of hate.
We hope that the publishing of the report will enable Labour clubs, particularly OULC, to take positive steps in ensuring they are welcoming and safe spaces for Jewish students. We continue to have an extremely positive relationship with Labour Students nationally, and we hope that in the coming year this can translate to a local level.
Oxford Jewish Society Statement on the full Royall Report
Oxford University Jewish Society thanks Baroness Royall for her report.
The report finally confirms that antisemitic incidents did take place and that the evidence uncovered by Baroness Royall has been passed on to the General Secretary and Labour’s disciplinary process.
We welcome this development, and we hope that Labour’s disciplinary procedures will finally lead to justice for Oxford’s victims of antisemitic abuse.
We are concerned by the Labour Party NEC’s decision to suppress the section of the report where Baroness Royall confirmed that antisemitic incidents had taken place. We are also concerned that it has taken nearly six months, and Baroness Royall’s own decision to publish her report, to get to this point. This raises serious doubts regarding Labour’s sincerity in tackling antisemitism within its ranks.
It is essential that disciplinary proceedings are now conducted with the highest level of transparency.