Over recent weeks the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party has featured heavily in the news.
The revelations of anti-Semitism from what appears to be a small minority of Labour Party members is not in my experience reflective of the wider movement. That said, I wanted to express my own sincere and deep disappointment at the reality that these abhorrent views continue to exist in society and in my party – a party whose primary mission has always been to promote equality, tolerance, respect. A party that believes diversity is a strength and something to be celebrated. So I'm saddened to see these views held and articulated by members of the Labour Party and further dismayed by the failures of the party's leadership to condemn them forcefully enough publicly and root out those who hold those views from our movement.
Let me be clear, Anti-Semitism has no place in our party or society, and it must be stamped out, wherever it arises. As such the vast majority of Labour Party member are struggling with the hurt, and shame, of the stain of anti-Semitism from this minority and it remains quite clear to me that the Labour Party has much more to do tackle anti-Semitism within the party and then a duty to turn and take it on, in the name of its founding values, in wider society.
During my time as the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party I valued our relationship and gained a greater knowledge and understanding of the issues facing Scotland's proud Jewish community. You were disappointed at my party's standing then, I can't imagine how you feel now.
I'm acutely aware that the Labour Party have a huge task ahead of us to make amends and repair the damage with the Jewish community.
I am pleased that some Scottish Labour party braches have invited the Jewish Labour Movement to deliver training on anti-Semitism for local members and believe this should be replicated across the country.
It is our responsibility to deal with the issues in our party here and now and I join with those who are determined not to shirk that responsibility.
I would welcome any advice you might be able to provide on this matter, and particularly, if there are any Edinburgh based contacts that I should seek to meet and talk with over the coming weeks.
Please let me also express, in the simplest terms, the sincerest of apologies on behalf of the Labour Party to the extent that I can.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind regards, Kezia