Camden Lib Dems call on Cllr Thomas Gardiner to resign. If not, he should be suspended from Labour following EHRC report
Yesterday marked a painful day for the Jewish community across Britain, including here in Camden where we are proud of our thriving Jewish community.
Camden Liberal Democrats hope that the Equality and Human Rights Commission's report into antisemitism within the Labour Party, which found that the party broke equalities law on three counts under its previous leadership, brings a degree of peace and vindication for the brave whistleblowers who had to endure such intolerance.
We welcome the swift action taken by new Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn & St. Pancras, to suspend the former party leader following his statement that "the scale of the problem was dramatically overstated for political reasons", attempting further to minimise an issue that has made many Jewish people feel hurt, victimised and afraid.
It is notable however that a sitting Camden Labour councillor, Thomas Gardiner, UK Labour's former Director of Governance & Legal and key ally of Mr. Corbyn, is referenced 20 times in the EHRC's report into antisemitism in the Labour Party.
In particular, in pages 48-52, the report states in relation to Gardiner's former role in the Labour Party's complaints process:
"This arrangement led to political interference from outside the GLU in the handling of complaints, or the appearance that this was happening."
It also states in relation to Gardiner's role:
"These factors undermined confidence in the complaint handling process and, in particular, its independence."
There has been no statement of apology, regret or contrition from Cllr. Gardiner.
As Camden Liberal Democrats, we want our borough to be a place where every community feels safe, respected and included. We therefore again call upon Cllr. Gardiner to apologise and to consider his position as councillor for Kilburn.
It is incumbent upon the Camden Labour Group and wider Labour Party also to suspend and remove the party whip from Cllr Gardiner.
This would send a clear message to Jewish residents across Camden that this dark period for the community is at last being brought to an end.