Statement from LGBT Labour Committee on the Ken Livingstone decision

Last night, the Labour Party let down its Jewish members, and in doing so let down all of us who trust Labour to be the party of equality. 

There should be no place in the Labour Party for anti-semitism. Yet, after coming to the verdict that three charges against Ken Livingstone of bringing the party into disrepute had each been proven, the NCC refused to act. For us, this is a grave failing. While the decision to investigate Livingstone's further comments is one we welcome, the damage has already been done.
This verdict highlights a fundamental structural problem with how the Labour Party deals with incidents of abuse against minority groups; a problem that is in no way isolated as we see with the outcome of the investigation into homophobia within Wallasey CLP. It suggests that the Labour Party is not taking bigotry and prejudice seriously enough, or properly tackling those who are damaging our Party, and that undermines everything the Labour Party is supposed to stand for.    
LGBT Labour stands in absolute solidarity with Jewish colleagues from across the party. But words alone are not enough, and it is our actions that matter - both from those within the Party with the power to change this, and from LGBT Labour ourselves. 
We call upon the Party to reassess its decision to merely suspend him from holding political office, and to expel him from membership. But this no longer goes far enough. The Party must undertake a root and branch reform of its current disciplinary procedures, which are clearly not fit for purpose, in particular focussing on how the Party handles incidents of bigotry and hatred.
LGBT Labour will support our comrades in the Jewish Labour Movement however we can, and we will be meeting as a committee to discuss what we can do to support LGBT Jewish members. We extend a hand to colleagues across Labour's Socialist Societies to work with us to bring about the reforms the Labour Party so desperately needs to once again gain the trust and support of it's minority members and supporters.