What happened to Adam Langleben?

Whatever happened to Adam Langleben? That’s the question I put to Stephane Savary, vice-chair of the misnamed Jewish Labour Movement, during a discussion in a Labour-supporting Facebook group yesterday.

A leading figure in JLM, Langleben had served as the organisation’s campaigns officer since it was resurrected in 2015 in order to organise Zionist opposition inside the Labour Party to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Langleben is also a former Labour councillor, and briefly achieved some media prominence in the aftermath of the 2018 local elections, when he toured TV and radio studios angrily blaming Labour’s failure to win Barnet council (and the loss of his own seat) on antisemitism in the party.

Having spent the past couple of years doing his best to damage the Labour Party from within, in February Langleben finally announced that he had torn up his membership card. He pledged that he would in future dedicate himself to preventing a Labour government from being elected and stopping Jeremy Corbyn ever becoming prime minister.

Despite this, at its AGM last month the Jewish Labour Movement re-elected Langleben as its campaigns officer. So we were confronted with the unprecedented situation of a Labour-affiliated organisation having its campaigning operation run by an individual who was publicly committed to campaigning against the Labour Party.

Langleben’s position as JLM campaigns officer didn’t prevent him from promoting the Independent Group/Change UK, the “centrist” party launched after a small group of rightwing Labour MPs broke away to join dissident Tories (see for example here and here). In the local elections earlier this month he urged voters to back an independent candidate standing against Labour. In the European election he proudly declared that he had voted for ChUK.

All of this is in breach of JLM’s rule book, which states that its members must be “eligible for membership of the UK Labour Party”. An individual who acts like Langleben is obviously ineligible for Labour Party membership and consequently for JLM membership too.

Evidently Langleben’s behaviour proved a political embarrassment to JLM. It is less than two months since his re-election as JLM campaigns officer, but his name has mysteriously disappeared, without explanation, from the list of officers and executive committee members on the JLM website. In fact it appears that JLM currently has no campaigns officer at all.

This at a time when JLM will be keen to exploit the publicity it has received after successfully provoking an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into spurious allegations that the Labour Party has “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish”. Given that it’s an unrepresentative ultra-Zionist sect and therefore has a limited number of activists, the loss of Langleben must have been a considerable blow to JLM.

But then again, maybe not. Despite his apparent removal as a JLM officer and executive committee member, only yesterday Langleben was tweeting an invitation to sympathetic Labour Party staff to provide him with evidence that would be of assistance to JLM in its submission to the EHRC investigation. This strongly suggests that, although Langleben’s name may have been deleted from its website, he is still working on behalf of the Jewish Labour Movement.

So what did happen to Adam Langleben? How was he removed as JLM campaigns officer? Did he resign? Was he expelled from JLM? Or does he retain individual membership of the organisation in defiance of its own rules?

Stephane Savary is as I’ve said a vice-chair of JLM, having been elected as an officer at the same AGM as Langleben, so he seemed the obvious person to ask. As yet he hasn’t replied. If he does, I’ll get back to you. Don’t hold your breath, though.

First published on Medium in May 2019