Statement  responding to Lord Walney’s attacks on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

We are alarmed by reports that the government is considering banning MPs and councilors from engaging with groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), following an intervention from Lord Walney. We are proud affiliates of PSC, sharing its aim of promoting the rights of the Palestinian people and working to end the oppression they face. Over many years our conferences have all passed policy resolutions to this effect. 

PSC is the largest organisation in Europe campaigning in support of Palestinian rights with a network of around 100 branches across Britain, and hundreds of thousands of members and supporters from a broad cross section of British society, including thousands of our members.

Its work lobbying MPs, members of the House of Lords and local, regional, and national elected representatives is crucial in keeping human rights issues, including those relevant to the Palestinian people, at the forefront of democratic decision-making. The promotion of human rights and democratic participation are core principles of our trade unions, and we are proud of the work that PSC does to advance these values.  

Any suggestion that the government or political parties should produce a blacklist and refuse to meet or engage with civil society organisations or sections of the electorate is profoundly anti-democratic. As Trade unions, we are all too familiar with such repressive tactics.

In this context, the message it would send is that any campaigning initiated by anyone outside government or parliament in support of Palestinian rights is somehow illegitimate. We call on the government and other political parties to reject these dangerous proposals.  We will continue to work closely with PSC as part of our broader internationalist work to show solidarity with oppressed people across the world.