On Wednesday 9 March, the APPG held a session on campus-based antisemitism Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP chaired, and parliamentarians including MPs Andrew Percy, Kirsten Oswald, Holly Mumby-Croft, Alex Davies-Jones, Kate Osborne, and Peter Bottomley joined, as did Lord Mann and Lord Wharton (Chair of the Office for Students). Students shared their experiences of antisemitism and members discussed what steps they could take to address hate in the higher education sector.
The APPG met on 8 February 2022 at 4pm for an EGM at which Nickie Aiken MP was elected a Vice-Chair of the group, and for a briefing on #SaferInternetDay hearing from @CST_UK about incidents online & off.
Jonny Newton from the CST gave an overview of the forthcoming incidents report, and answered questions from those parliamentarians that attended, including Andrew Percy MP, Catherine McKinnell MP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Nickie Aiken MP, Baroness Ruth Deech, Lord John Mann, Kate Osborne MP, Anthony Higginbotham MP, Holly Mumby-Croft MP and Rt Hon Lord Stevens of Birmingham.
The APPG Against Antisemitism held an event at 4pm on 28 April to consider digital literacy, education and efforts to educate against hate.
The meeting heard from Karen Pollock CBE (Holocaust Educational Trust), Danny Stone MBE (Antisemitism Policy Trust) and Elizabeth Kanter (Director, Government Relations and Public Policy, TikTok).
On 28 April 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism held its Annual General Meeting. It was proposed and agreed that Andrew Percy MP and Catherine McKinnell MP remain as co-chairs of the group. All officers were re-elected with the addition of Lord Austin of Dudley and Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP as a Vice-Chairs.
The Antisemitism Policy Trust was re-appointed as the group secretariat, a financial statement agreed and a short overview of the period since the inaugural meeting presented. Members debated future work including in relation to online harms and antisemitism on campus.
Those attending included: Andrew Percy MP, Catherine McKinnell MP, Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, Lord Mann of Holbeck Moor, Lord Austin of Dudley, Lord Hunt of Wirral, Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Rosie Duffield MP, Antony Higginbotham MP, Lilian Greenwood MP, Bob Blackman MP, Christian Wakeford MP, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, Nicola Richards MP and Baroness Deech.
On Monday 1 March at 4pm, several MPs including Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Lilian Greenwood MP, Christian Wakeford MP and Tony Lloyd MP were amongst the audience for a virtual performance of Marlon Solomon’s one-man show, Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale. This one man dramatic storytelling recounts a year in Marlon’s life learning about conspiracism.
An online educational session run by the Antisemitism Policy Trust took place from 2.30-4pm on 15 October 2020 for parliamentarians and their staff on how to identify antisemitism.
On Tuesday 7 July, APPG Against Antisemitism co-chairs Catherine McKinnell MP and Andrew Percy MP hosted a virtual meeting, for members of the APPG Against Antisemitism. The MPs on the call heard from both the Antisemitism Policy Trust and Community Security Trust about how anti-Jewish racism has been developing during the global pandemic, and specific Covid-related antisemitism. The CST presented details of its recent report ‘Hate Fuel’ which exposes far-right extremist activity taking place online, including on British platforms.
MPs and Peers on the call included:
Catherine McKinnell MP, Andrew Percy MP, Rosie Duffield MP, Lord Harris of Haringey, Tony Lloyd MP, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Lord Stunell, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Anthony Higginbotham MP, Lord Beecham, Afzal Khan MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, Nicola Richards MP and Stephen Doughty MP.
Parliamentarians of all parties and both houses came to hear Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis give his first address in parliament, under the auspices of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.
The Chief Rabbi gave his thoughts on the history of antisemitism, followed by a detailed update on antisemitism in Europe and the UK twinned with personal anecdotes. He answered a wide range of questions relating to antisemitism including on matters relating to the Middle East, circumcision, kosher ritual slaughter and the Holocaust.
He was warmly received by all those present, which included:
Mike Freer MP (Chair), Mike Gapes MP, Louise Ellman MP, Jonathan Djanogly MP, Eric Ollerenshaw MP, Mark Durkan MP, Seema Malhotra MP, David Burrowes MP, Ian Austin MP, Lord Howard of Lympne, Lord Carlile of Berriew, Lord Mendelsohn of Finchley, Lord Beecham, Baroness Deech, Baroness Hayman and Lord Alderdice.
The Society of Editors launched their Online Moderation Guide at the House of Commons on 10 September 2014. Communities Minister Stephen Williams praised the APPG Against Antisemitism for its role in inspiring the report and John Mann MP, chair of the APPG praised in turn, the Society of Editors for â€œstepping up to the mark in the fight against antisemitism and showing what civic society can do. Both Mann and Williams refered to the report as the start of an important conversation, with the Minister suggesting that online anonymity and enhanced registration requirements might be future important steps for newspaper comment board moderators to consider.
APPG members have been clear. They don’t want to inhibit freedom of expression but where good practice exists it should be highlighted and shared as widely as possible. Engendering a responsible online community is of significant importance.
Other than APPG chair John Mann MP and Communities Minister Stephen Williams MP, the audience was also addressed by Society of Editors President Ian Murray and Peter Cole, the author of the research.
The All-Party Inquiry into Antisemitism reported in 2006 and one of the recommendations (number 18) focussed on the media and the responsibility to have a sensible discourse on Judaism, anti-Zionism and the Middle East. As a result of the inquiry, the Labour government established the cross-Government working group on antisemitism and the coalition government committed at an early stage to keep that group going. In discussing recommendation 18, the APPG Against Antisemitism repeatedly raised online comment board moderation as an issue. DCLG as the secretariat to the cross-Whitehall group took this up with the Society of Editors and funded the production of the guide.
As part of the evidence gathering process for an all-party parliamentary report into the antisemitism which emanated from the escalation of the Middle East conflict over the summer of 2014, a delegation of MPs travelled to Paris and Berlin.
APPG chair John Mann MP, led the fact-finding mission to meet politicians, Foreign Ministry representatives and journalists. APPG president Sir Andrew Stunell joined him as did Luciana Berger MP. Although he had planned to join the delegation, Ian Paisley Junior MP was sadly unable to attend owing to the passing of his father.