Labour Shadow Chancellor reveals her views on unconscious bias training

16 July 2020, 09:00

Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds told LBC the new Labour leader Keir Starmer was "clearly focused" on rooting out anti-Semitism and effecting change within the party.

When asked if the Labour Party was "poised to make a formal apology to the anti-Semitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement arrangement" and if there would also be "non-disclosure agreements," the Shadow Chancellor said it wouldn't be appropriate for her to comment.

However, she told Tom Swarbrick she thought the most important thing that needs to change within the Labour Party was addressing the complaints process and ensuring issues such as anti-Semitism are "rooted out" quickly in the future.

She said Keir Starmer was "clearly focused on that" since his first days as the new Labour leader.

The question came after the Guardian newspaper reported Labour was poised to make a formal apology to anti-Semitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era.

The newspaper said the whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent, prompting anger from Corbyn allies who accused the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, of capitulating.

Tom asked about people in the Shadow Ministerial ranks such as Lloyd Russell-Moyle who was found by the Sunday Times to have written a FaceBook post which said Zionism was a "dangerous, nationalist idea" and another "suggesting Jewish claims for Israel are not progressive in their very nature."

The LBC host asked if any apology was enough?

Mrs Dodds said an apology was "quite right" as those views are "totally, totally inappropriate" and the Labour Party needed to make sure "wherever there are expressions of those kinds of views that they are dealt with very very speedily indeed."

When asked if she thought Mr Russell-Moyle had changed his views, the Shadow Chancellor said he'd "quite rightly" apologised, which would "suggest that he accepts that they were wrong."

The senior Labour Minister revealed she had been on the unconscious bias training which Sir Keir Starmer pledge to take himself when speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC.

Watch the whole call in the video at the top of the page to see what Ms Dodds said about the training.