Chakrabarti: Labour should extend ‘zero tolerance’ anti-Semitism rules to homophobia and sexism
Shami Chakrabarti has recommended that the Labour Party expands ‘zero tolerance’ anti-racism rules in its code of conduct to cover homophobia and sexism.
After complaints of anti-Semitism within the party ranks, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn submitted a new Code of Conduct to the party’s national executive in May.
The code of conduct states: “Any behaviour or use of language which targets or intimidates members of ethnic or religious communities, or incites racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, or undermines Labour’s ability to campaign against any form of racism, is unacceptable conduct within the Labour Party.”
Shami Chakrabarti has now released a report on anti-Semitism in the party – commissioned by the party after the suspensions of MP Naz Shah and former London mayor Ken Livingstone.
In the report, Ms Chakrabarti – the former head of human rights advocacy group Liberty – praised the new rules and suggested they be extended to homophobia, transphobia and sexism.
She wrote: “I welcome the Code of Conduct proposed by the Labour Leader and approved by the NEC in May 2016 in so far as it relates to racism.
“It should be amended so as to cover other forms of prejudice (e.g. against women, LGBT and differently abled people).
“In the light of this Code and my suggested guidance, I do not find further substantive rule changes addressing standards of expected behaviour to be necessary.”
Mr Corbyn recently took the decision to no longer have a dedicated shadow cabinet minister for Women and Equalities issues.
The leader, who has struggled to find MPs willing to serve under him in his Shadow Cabinet, combined the role with the Education brief as the Conservatives already do.
Mr Corbyn’s team say the change would allow the party to “directly” hold the Tories to account, but a number of shadow ministers appear to be ‘doubling up’ briefs.