Everything you need to know about the report into anti-Semitism in the UK


The Home Affairs Select Committee has released its Anti-Semitism in the UK report, and Labour has been particularly criticised in its findings.

In its introduction, the committee said: "This report focuses to some extent on the Labour Party, because it has been the main source of recent allegations of anti-Semitism associated with political parties."

Here are all the most important elements from the report, and how key figures have reacted to its findings.

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

Ken Livingstone
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Jewish Labour MPs have been subject to "appalling" levels of abuse, including death threats from individuals claiming to be supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, the report said.

The report accuses Labour of "incompetence" over its handling of high-profile allegations of anti-Semitism, including those involving former London mayor Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker, who was recently removed as vice-chairwoman of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group.

"The failure of the Labour Party to deal consistently and effectively with anti-Semitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-Semitic," the MPs warned.

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn
The report calls into question how Corbyn has dealt with anti-Semitism in the party (Ben Birchall/PA)

The report highlights how Corbyn failed to provide "consistent leadership" in tackling anti-Semitic abuse within the Labour ranks. The cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee also questioned whether he "fully appreciates" the nature of post-war anti-Semitism.

"While the Labour leader has a proud record of campaigning against many types of racism, based on the evidence we have received, we are not persuaded that he fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War anti-Semitism," the report said.

Whilst the report states that Corbyn is not directly responsible for the abuse committed in his name, it says that "his lack of consistent leadership on this issue, and his reluctance to separate anti-Semitism from other forms of racism, has created what some have referred to as a 'safe space' for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people".

Baroness Chakrabarti

Baroness Chakrabarti
Baroness Chakrabarti recently joined Corbyn's shadow cabinet (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The committee welcomed the inquiry set up by Corbyn, but they expressed doubts about its independence after its chairwoman, Baroness Chakrabarti, joined Labour and accepted a peerage.

The MPs also said the Chakrabarti report was "clearly lacking in many areas".

Corbyn's response to the report

Jeremy Corbyn
Unsurprisingly, Corbyn isn't best pleased with the findings (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Corbyn accused the committee of being biased against Labour, saying: "The report's political framing and disproportionate emphasis on Labour risks undermining the positive and welcome recommendations made in it.

"Although the committee heard evidence that 75% of anti-Semitic incidents come from far-right sources, and the report states there is no reliable evidence to suggest anti-Semitism is greater in Labour than other parties, much of the report focuses on the Labour Party."

He said: "Under my leadership, Labour has taken greater action against anti-Semitism than any other party, and will implement the measures recommended by the Chakrabarti report to ensure Labour is a welcoming environment for members of all our communities."

Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn accused the report of using the issue against Labour "as a weapon" (Danny Lawson/PA)

He described the criticism of Chakrabarti as "unfair". He also said that the committee "violated natural justice" by rejecting Chakrabarti and the Jewish Labour Movement's requests to appear and give evidence to it.

He also raised concerns about how the report was conducted, saying that it heard evidence from "too narrow a pool of opinion".

Corbyn said he welcomed some of its recommendations, including on strengthening anti-hate crime systems, demanding stronger action from social media companies against trolls, and support for Jewish communal security.

Labour's response

Naz Shah
Naz Shah was briefly suspended from the party but was reinstated in July (PA)

The two Labour MPs on the panel, Chuka Umunna and David Winnick, agreed with the report's strong words in full. However, a third Labour member of the committee, Naz Shah, took no part in the inquiry after she was suspended from the party over anti-Semitic social media posts. She was later reinstated to the party after apologising.

Labour MP John Mann, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group against anti-Semitism, praised the "careful" and "important" inquiry.

Other parties

Tim Farron
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Whilst the report did indeed focus on Labour, other parties also came under fire. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was criticised over his handling of allegations within his own party, particularly involving former MP David Ward.

Response from the Conservatives

Mike Freer
Tory MP Mike Freer (PA)

Conservative MP Mike Freer said: "The committee's report has made it crystal clear that the Labour Party has a very real problem with anti-Semitism.

"There is no place whatsoever for racism in British society. As leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has a duty to face up to the problem and to take concrete action to stamp it out now - not just make mealy-mouthed condemnations."


Twitter also came under fire in the report (Chris Ison/PA)

The social media site was strongly criticised in the report for hosting "vast swathes" of anti-Semitic hate speech and abuse. The Commons Home Affairs Committee said it was "disgraceful" that Jewish people using Twitter were being subjected to "appalling" levels of online abuse.

The committee said it had been "shocked" at the "viscerally anti-Semitic nature and volume" of tweets directed specifically at MPs.

It highlighted the case of Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, who was targeted by a US-based neo-Nazi website.

Luciana Berger
Luciana Berger was targeted on Twitter (Gareth Fuller/PA)

In the space of just three days in 2014 she was reported to have received 2,500 abusive tweets, all with the same virulently anti-Semitic hashtag. Two years on, the committee said that "alarmingly" some of the messages were still available online.

"This experience is no doubt common to many Jewish people outside Parliament, too," the report said.

The report said that Twitter needed to act in a "proactive manner" to identify abusive users rather than relying on the victims to monitor their accounts and then report it to the company, also saying that more resources were needed for enforcement.

The National Union of Students

Malia Bouattia
Malia Bouattia's comments came under scrutiny (NUS/PA)

The committee said comments by the president of the NUS describing Birmingham University as a "Zionist outpost" smack of "outright racism".

It said that Malia Bouattia did not appear to take the issue of campus anti-Semitism "sufficiently seriously" and showed a "worrying disregard" for her duty to represent all students and promote balanced and respectful debate.

The report questioned whether the NUS was effectively addressing the issue of anti-Semitism, and called on the union and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) to "work to mend their broken relationship".

The UK as a whole

Anti-semitism report
There is a worry that the UK is moving in the wrong direction (Toby Melville/PA)

The report noted that while the UK remains one of the least anti-Semitic countries in Europe, "it is alarming that recent surveys show that as many as one in 20 adults in the UK could be characterised as "clearly anti-Semitic".

"There is a real risk that the UK is moving in the wrong direction on anti-Semitism, in contrast to many other countries in Western Europe," the MPs said.