A former Labour Parliamentary candidate for the Sheffield Hallam seat says he will not be standing for the role again because of his concerns about anti-Semitism within the party.
Oliver Coppard, who took on then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the 2015 General Election, has ruled out trying to be Labour’s candidate for the same seat the next time it is contested.
Sheffield Hallam’s current representative Jared O’Mara was elected last year as a Labour candidate, ousting Liberal Democrat Mr Clegg, but quit the party this summer while remaining MP. Labour has not yet started the process for deciding who will be its candidate in Sheffield Hallam.
As A Former Labour Candidate, The Party’s Growing Intolerance Has Crushed My Belief In The Role I Can Play In Our Movement
Labour feels like a hostile environment for Jewish people like me. That is a stain on our movement.
I have always wanted to make a difference in the world; to leave this planet in a better place than I found it. I started leafleting for the Labour Party when I was six years old. I thought my best way to make a contribution would be as a Labour MP. I stood as the Labour Party’s Parliamentary candidate against Nick Clegg in 2015 in Sheffield because of that hope. Even as I lost I held onto that hope. But if I’m honest that hope has been what has stopped me speaking out about the anti-Semitism in our Party.
I should have spoken out before now. I should have made it more widely known that I was dismayed by the decision not to adopt the full IHRA definition, by the online abuse and our failure as a Party to take a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. More than anything I should have said that I am frightened by the growing intolerance and factionalism of our movement.