Complaints of Islamophobia in the Labour party. Why no investigation?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Equality and Human Rights Commission,

You recently investigated complaints of antisemitism within the Labour Party, after complaints were made about antisemitism within the party, which many believe were motivated by a single desire to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn after he declared his support for a Palestinian state. Under the freedom of information Act, please provide the following information:

1) How many complaints of Islamophobia have been made against the Labour Party since Keir Starmer became leader?
2) How many have been investigated?
3) What was the outcome?
4) How many were not investigated?
5) Why were they not investigated?
6) Do you intend to investigate them and if so, when?
7) Will you be conducting an investigation into Islamophobia within the Labour Party just like you did with complaints of antisemitism within the Labour Party and if not why not.
If you don't, are you not guilty of discriminating against Muslims?

Yours faithfully,

Andi Ali

Information Governance team, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Information request
Our reference: 1680713

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Dear Andi Ali
 
Your Freedom of Information Request
 
Thank you for your request, detailed below, which we received on 28
January 2021.
 
 "You recently investigated complaints of antisemitism within the Labour
Party, after complaints were made about antisemitism within the party,
which many believe were motivated by a single desire to get rid of Jeremy
Corbyn after he declared his support for a Palestinian state. Under the
freedom of information Act, please provide the following information:

1) How many complaints of Islamophobia have been made against the Labour
Party since Keir Starmer became leader?

2) How many have been investigated?

3) What was the outcome?

4) How many were not investigated?

5) Why were they not investigated?

6) Do you intend to investigate them and if so, when?

7) Will you be conducting an investigation into Islamophobia within the
Labour Party just like you did with complaints of antisemitism within the
Labour Party and if not why not.

If you don't, are you not guilty of discriminating against Muslims?" 
 
We are dealing with your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. We aim to respond promptly and in any event no later than 20 working
days following the date of receipt of the request; a response should
therefore be with you no later than 25 February 2021. However please be
advised that this may not be possible, owing to the disruption caused
during this pandemic period. If for any reason we are not able to meet
this deadline, we will notify you and give you an indication of when we
will send you a full response.
 
If you have any queries please contact us using the details below.
 
Yours sincerely
 
‎Information Governance Team‏
Equality and Human Rights Commission
 
[EHRC request email]

Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square
London, EC4Y 8JX

[1]www.equalityhumanrights.com
 
[2]EHRC GB logo

 
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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Information Governance team, Equality and Human Rights Commission

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 1680713

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Dear Andi Ali
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 28 January 2021.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
‎Information Governance Team‏
Equality and Human Rights Commission
 
[EHRC request email]

Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square
London, EC4Y 8JX

[1]www.equalityhumanrights.com
 
[2]EHRC GB logo

 
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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1. http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

Dear Equality and Human Rights Commission,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Equality and Human Rights Commission's handling of my FOI request 'Complaints of Islamophobia in the Labour party. Why no investigation?'.

I find your answer extraordinary and one which fully supports the view that you are treating complaints of antisemitism within the Labour Party far more seriously than you are with complaints of Islamophobia.

For example you state that the reason you cannot answer, “how many complaints of Islamophobia have been made against the Labour Party since Keir Starmer became leader?” is because you:

“can neither confirm nor deny that the Equality and Human Rights Commission holds the information”

And go on to say you,

“consider that the absolute exemption set out in Section 44 (Prohibitions on disclosure) subsection 2 applies to the duty to confirm or deny whether the requested information is held.”

Yet, prior to investigating complaints of antisemitism within the Labour Party you made a statement to the BBC in March 2019 were you informed them that you,

“were considering launching a formal investigation into antisemitism within the Labour Party.”

And said:

"Having received a number of complaints regarding antisemitism in the Labour Party, we believe Labour may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs.”

See here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-4...

As such, I am asking for a review of this case on the following grounds:

If section 44 of the FOI did not apply to you releasing information regarding the number of complaints of antisemitism made against the Labour Party when Jeremy Corbyn was leader, then how could it possibly apply to you not releasing the same information on how many complaints of Islamophobia have been made against the Labour Party since Keir Starmer became leader?

Or, how many you investigated? What was their outcome? How many were not investigate? Why were they not investigated? And do you intend to investigate them and when?

Indeed, for your submission to be right, it would not only mean that section 44 applies to complaints of Islamophobia, but not of antisemitism within the Labour Party, which would be an astonishing claim for the equalities watchdog to make, but it would also mean that when the EHRC informed the BBC in March 2019, that it was investigating complaints of antisemitism within the Labour Party after receiving what it described as “hundreds of complaints” then the EHRC was in breach of section 44 of the FOI.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Andi Ali

Information Governance team, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Information request
Our reference: 1680713

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Dear Andi Ali,
 
Thank you for your email dated 8 March 2021 in which you requested a
review of the response to your FOI request.

We aim to respond promptly and within 20 working days. You can therefore
expect to receive our review response no later than 7 April 2021. However
please be advised that this may not be possible, owing to the disruption
caused during this pandemic period. If for any reason we are not able to
meet this deadline, we will notify you and give you an indication of when
we will send you a full response.

Yours sincerely

 
‎Information Governance team‏
Equality and Human Rights Commission
 
[EHRC request email]
 

Arndale House, The Arndale Centre
Manchester, M4 3AQ

[1]www.equalityhumanrights.com
 
[2]EHRC GB logo

 
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

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1. http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

Dear Information Governance team,

cheers.

Yours sincerely,

Andi Ali

Information Governance team, Equality and Human Rights Commission

1 Attachment

Information request
Our reference: 1680713

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Dear Andi Ali,
 
Please find attached the response to your recent FOI Review request. 
Yours sincerely
 
‎Information Governance team‏
Equality and Human Rights Commission
 
[EHRC request email]

Arndale House, The Arndale Centre
Manchester, M4 3AQ

[1]www.equalityhumanrights.com
 
[2]EHRC GB logo

 

References

Visible links
1. http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

Dear Information Governance team,

I find it astonishing that you have failed to investigate a complaint of Islamophobia in the Labour Party given you found the Labour Party guilty of discrimination for not investigating complaints of antisemitism. It seems to me that you are guilty of the very discrimination you accuse others of.
I am also very sceptical of your claim that you have only received one complaint of Islamophobia within the Labour Party.
Rest assured, if this turns out to be a lie, then questions will be asked about why you have acted unlawfully and provided false information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely,

Andi Ali