Jewish News, 29/06/2012
A new parliamentary committee is to be set up to help eradicate anti-Semitism and other race hatred during election campaigning.
John Mann MP, chair of The All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, made the announcement at a reception in the House of Commons last week in front of 40 MPs and peers.
He said: “We will bring Parliamentarians together to discuss with experts a code of practice. This will be adopted by political parties. This will be a code of practice for any racist or inappropriate behaviour not just anti-Semitism.” He added: “Some behaviour in the heat of elections crosses the border of what’s unacceptable.” ”Some calculatedly, deliberately, some ignorantly but none the less dangerously and painfully.”
Natascha Engel MP, the chair of the House of Commons backbench business committee, will chair a cross-party panel of MPs looking at behaviour in elections.
Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, was reduced to tears after being the victim of a hate campaign leading up to the 2010 election. Speaking in a parliamentary debate last year, he said: “In a leaflet which went round my constituency, various accusations were made including the claim that I was an enemy of Islam.” ”Out of interest, the picture that was used on the leaflet seems to have me wearing a skull cap.” He added: “I was also the recipient of an e-mail saying that I should be stoned to death. One night at home I sat down and cried.” ”Do I know who was behind all this? I have some shrewd ideas, but I would never make accusations that I cannot prove.”
“They, however, know full well who they are. In the name of politics, I can only say that the House of Commons and its politics deserves better than that.”